Conversation Analysis as Tool to Investigate the Level of Call Center Customer Centricity Term Paper

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Conversation Analysis

Discussions and their evaluations that take place are simultaneously significant for a society to identify and solve any problem or deficits that they are facing. Conversation analysis is one of the ways that was initiated 3 decades ago to analyze discussions. It is considered the most popular offshoot of the field of discourse analysis. Since its birth, the concept of conversation analysis has proven to a popular overall tool especially when dealing with social and communal issues. The reason for the escalation of popularity and significance of this concept is a direct result of the rising importance that is given to the evaluation of discussions as a domain of breakthrough investigation.

Conversation Analysis

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The main idea of the conversation analysis concept was first constructed by two American philosophers namely Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel. They both tackled and included different aspects of conversations and discussions. Goffman (1955; 1983) in his studies explained that all evaluators of discussions or conversation analysts should understand that the whole idea behind discussions is that they not only represent the personal identity, opinion and inclination of the individual but also all the social agencies that operate in and have an influence on his environment. Garfinkel (1967) in his study added that the analysts should, simultaneously, be able to analyze the role of social agencies as well as be able to use their common sense and consensus of the group to diverge the true meaning behind the topics discussed and the manner in which they are discussed.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Conversation Analysis as Tool to Investigate the Level of Call Center Customer Centricity Assignment

The whole approach of Garfinkel is purely based on the idea that analysts should be able to filter all the extra jibber-jabber that the community members forward in a discussion backed up by traditions and laws. The analysts have to understand that most community members will continue to use the traditions and laws to identify and represent their input and contribution within a social setting and discussion. Hence, the analysts have to understand that apart from the filtration of all unnecessary interactions there is a "reflexive" element where by the members of the discussion are not only putting forth their opinions but by doing so they are moving their entire contribution forward for evaluation and growth as a result of the evaluation (Garfinkel, 1967).

Conversation analysis, for the majority of its early years, was focused on evaluation of discussions and debates that did not have a set agenda or weren't restricted to a specific circumstance or situation. This basically means that court hearing or wedding ceremonies or Baptist ceremonies were never a focus for evaluations despite the fact that discussions happened on these occasions too. These were termed "ordinary conversations." Later in the 1970s the trend or focus of conversation analysis started incorporating the more confined agendas where discussions took place. The confined or fixed agendas that were included for conversation analysis were chosen on the following criteria:

The entire conversation/discussion is restricted on and around a specific institution and/or situation;

The overall objectives of the members of the discussions are also confined within the institution or the circumstance they are in; and All the conclusions and recommendations that are made at the end of the discussion are also confined to the circumstance or the interest of the institution that was the cause for the discussion taking place (Drew and Heritage 1992). This form of conversation analysis was termed as "institutional talk" because of its specific or restricted nature.

The link between the two forms of researches that conversation analysts have focused on: ordinary conversation and institutional talk is of hierarchical nature. One of the two, the ordinary conversation, because of its existence from the initiation of conversation analysis takes the higher place on the ladder of hierarchy. Furthermore, the ordinary conversation format is far more experienced and has been far more researched then the institutional talk format because of its nature to include both the individuals' outlook as well as the community's outlook. The format of institutional talk, which includes the schools, media, courts, etc., is comparatively a newer concept and hence has been more popular for the recent researchers; this is also why it has been going through far more shared modifications in recent years.

One other reason that the ordinary conversation format is considered to be higher in importance in comparison to the institutional talk is that it includes almost every imaginable sphere within an evaluative environment whereas the nature of the intuitional talk forces it to be more restrictive and a more condensed approach towards evaluation. There is a lot more freedom of experimentation and context analysis in ordinary conversation as opposed to institutional talk as in the institutional interaction there is very little room for diversification (Drew and Heritage 1992). Atkinson (1982) in his study also pointed out that the other disadvantage of the institutional conversation format is that it is very regularly disregarded by the common man because it seems too limiting, difficult to grasp and at times ominous or hostile.

Conversation Analysis: Practical Groundwork

The main aim of the theory of conversation analysis (CA) is to carefully analyze and identify the different denotations, implications, backgrounds and perspectives of the discussions that take place within a community or an institution. In this way it is very similar to the numerous other discussion analysis theories but what makes it different is that it links the different denotations, implications, backgrounds and perspectives to the basic flow and spectrum of the thoughts and viewpoints expressed (Sacks 1987). In this study we will study the impact that conversation analysis has in the assistance of respondents in a corporate call centre.

The fact of the matter is that the pioneers of the CA concept have designed it in such a way that the concept prioritizes the sequence or chain of events that leads to a pattern of discussion over the ideas and thoughts that are expressed in the discussion. The CA concept supports that any denotation of a discussion is a direct circumstance of all the actions that occurred prior to it and that all social constructs are a direct result of the build-up of the sequence of prior interactions. This is perhaps one of the most important facets of CA within the environment of the call centre where it is the quick and on-the-toes thinking of the corporate respondent that allows him/her to engage the caller with everything that had already been exchanged in their conversation. This, of course, helps the corporate respondents to assist the caller get familiar with the corporation in direct relation to their own thoughts (Sacks 1987). This approach of the CA concept has been heavily influenced by the normal and standard familiarities of people in a discussion which can be broadly explained as:

1) All discussions are based on previous chain of discussions done that could be related to the current topic of discussion as well as the potential point-of-views that can be discussed in the future (Sacks 1987 [1973], 1992 [1964-72]; Schegloff and Sacks 1973; Schegloff 1984).

2) All the current discussions are structured in such a way that they help to provide foundations for the context of future discussions on similar topics. They are also structured in ways that can be materialized into action for references and experience of future discussions (Schegloff 1972).

3) the members of discussion groups by designing the future actions and incorporating the previous results achieved in the process are able to create a mutually respected atmosphere and understanding of common grounds and procedures over a period of time (Heritage 1984).

CA, fundamentally, treats all of the above elements in a direct relation to the already standardized and accepted social and lawful traditions and activities. CA realizes that the main elements that, more often then not, dominate or influence an individual's thoughts, inclinations and activities are the sequential evaluations of discussions, the denotation and meaning behind these evaluations, the filtration of the relevant evaluations, common sense and standardized social traditions. Also, the concept of CA understands that the members for the discussions should be made to realize that their expressions, thoughts or deductions can cause them trouble socially and lawfully if they aren't expressed under the most relevant and constructive light.

Conversation Analysis within a Call Centre

The focus of researchers when shifted to the more restrictive institutional interaction format, the approach to studying and analyzing discussion under this format remained the same as the one that worked for the ordinary conversation format. The general idea was that all the context and denotations and conclusions that were going to be made would be a direct result of the construction of the interaction made by the members of the discussion. This was considered more useful as opposed to the collection of bulk load of data that was collected as part of the historical background provided (Heritage 1987). This approach can work like a charm in the call centre industry where the conversation between the caller and the company respondent is purely based upon the construction… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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