Volume 14, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This study explores the business ritual practice of apology in corporate crisis management. By comparing the frequencies and analysing apology strategies from fifty local and nonlocal Chinese companies’ public letters of apology, we extend the politeness study of public apology to a broader hierarchy of a ritual frame and discuss the related formulaic patterns and strategies of apology. The results show that both groups share a high proportion of taking responsibility and explaining but differ significantly in their use of such strategies. We find that the business ritual practice of apology varies in accordance with the cultural identity of the corporation. Local Chinese companies tend to greatly rely on a ritual frame of involvement, whereas nonlocal companies take an interest in constructing a ritual frame of defence. The paper provides implications for the scholars of cross-cultural pragmatics and for business practitioners and future research directions for a ritual perspective when revisiting the practice of apology.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Chinese; corporate apology; cultural identity; pragmatic strategies; ritual frame
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