A participation perspective on the relationship of text and talk: The appraisal form as part of interaction and organisational practices in performance appraisal interviews

Esa Lehtinen, Pekka Pälli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Recent research speaks strongly for the fact that texts play a significant role in professional interaction. Earlier research has investigated, on the one hand, how texts are produced within the interaction, and, on the other, how written texts are used in interaction. In this article the role of texts and documents in interaction is examined from the standpoint of participation. The article employs Erving Goffman’s conception of speaker’s and hearer’s roles, the conversation analytic conception of the participation framework, and, in particular, Charles Goodwin’s view, according to which material objects – and written documents as specific kinds of material objects – serve an important role as part of the participation framework. In addition, the article makes use of the socio-material conception according to which participation can also be extended to involve texts as agentive actors.

The data for the study consist of six video-recorded, dyadic performance appraisal interviews from a public early-learning organisation. The method is based on conversation analysis. The article zooms in on the opening sequences of the interviews in which a superior and a subordinate are dealing with the subordinate’s work history in terms of what has been previously agreed and written in the appraisal form. In these opening sequences the form is viewed both as a verbal text and a material document. The analysis shows, on the one hand, how the conversation is fundamentally structured by quoting the form. On the other hand, it demonstrates how the text in the form invokes accountability, which can be directed both at the subordinate and the organisation and the superior as a representative of the organisation. The article concludes with a discussion on the appraisal form as part of the participation framework. Specifically, its role as an agentive participant is considered.
Translated title of the contributionA participation perspective on the relationship of text and talk: The appraisal form as part of interaction and organisational practices in performance appraisal interviews
Original languageFinnish
Pages (from-to)164-187
JournalVIRITTÄJÄ
Volume120
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • agentivity; appraisal interview; conversation analysis; participation framework; text,

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'A participation perspective on the relationship of text and talk: The appraisal form as part of interaction and organisational practices in performance appraisal interviews'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this