University of Oulu

Vuorela, T., Alatalo, S., Oikarinen, E.-L. and Poutiainen, A. (2021), "Young consumers’ views on humorous BELFcommunication", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 26 No. 2, pp. 265-278.

Young consumers’ views on humorous BELFcommunication

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Author: Vuorela, Taina1; Alatalo, Sari2,3; Oikarinen, Eeva-Liisa3;
Organizations: 1LAB University of Applied Sciences, Lahti, Finland
2Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu, Finland
3Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.2 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Emerald, 2021
Publish Date: 2022-01-19


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to gain understanding of how young consumers with varying cultural and linguistic backgrounds experience and perceive humorous Business English lingua franca (BELF) mediated communication used in transit contexts.

Design/methodology/approach: For the collection of qualitative data, the present study relies on focus group discussions in three European countries. The data were analyzed by the authors by applying the phenomenographic approach as a method.

Findings: Young European consumers expressed a preference for humor and playfulness in BELF-mediated communication, yet they can be a challenging group to be informed and entertained with humorous BELF communication, as they differ in their taste of humor due to varying language- and culture-based identities. However, BELF as a communication tool was seen as functional and unproblematic by the informants. These informants perceive the role of resonant — wit type of humor in BELF — messages with noncultural references as fulfilling some of the aims of the messages. Yet, the role of comic — wit humor in BELF — messages with cultural references is more challenging to interpret.

Originality/value: The present results bring original viewpoints on the use of humor in cross-cultural corporate communication via a unique perspective of how young consumers’ perceive and value humor in BELF-mediated communication.

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Series: Corporate communications
ISSN: 1356-3289
ISSN-E: 1758-6046
ISSN-L: 1356-3289
Volume: 26
Issue: 2
Pages: 265 - 278
DOI: 10.1108/CCIJ-01-2020-0008
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 512 Business and management
518 Media and communications
Copyright information: This manuscript is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence.