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I certainly would not wish to argue that until the

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Unformatted text preview: orporate verbal hygiene practices may be analysed as part of a strategic attempt by organizations to maximize their advantages in a hyper-competitive globalized economy which is increasingly dominated by the provision of services. Yet it might well be asked whether current practices have precedents in the pre-globalization era. I certainly would not wish to argue that until the late 1980s (the moment of ®nancial deregulation which is generally taken to have inaugurated the shift to today's global economy) workers spoke exactly as they liked, without norms or constraints. Clearly, for as long as `work' has been a distinct domain of social practice, people have developed ways of acting and speaking peculiar to that domain, undergoing within particular workplaces processes of linguistic and other acculturation. It is also evident that what I have described here can be related to much older practices such as the scripting of sales encounters (Leidner 1993) and ± an example with particular relevance to the call centre case ± the regulatio...
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