Linguistic regulation is part of the general trend

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Unformatted text preview: n of telephone operators' speech in the period before direct dialling.11 However, I would argue that there has been signi®cant intensi®cation, both of the desire of organizations to control employees' language-use and of their ability to do it with some degree of e€ectiveness (in the case of call centres, by using hi-tech surveillance). Linguistic regulation is part of the general trend that George Ritzer (1996) has dubbed `McDonaldization', and about which he has observed that its goal is to pre-empt any choice of means to ends by the people actually engaged in a given activity. Instead, decisions on what to do, how and when are reserved to people at the top of the organizational hierarchy. That, of course, is the very opposite of what is usually claimed about the new global economy, which is frequently said to require highly skilled, self-motivating decision-makers and problem-solvers. Research like that reported here might suggest, however, that accounts such as Ritzer's, and Gee, Hull and Lankshear's description of `...
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