Call for Presenters

 Business Practices Committee Sponsored Panel

2022 ABC Annual International Conference

 The ABC Business Practices Committee is inviting submissions for the theme:

Verbal Communication in the Workplace

Lee Galloway, early twentieth-century Professor of Commerce and Industry at New York University, held a broad view of the value of language in business environments.  In his much-reprinted text, Office Management: Its Principles and Practices (originally published in 1918), he wrote:

“The use of language, written and spoken, on the part of all members of the organization, constitutes a general service activity whose importance is only beginning to be recognized.  No trading organization could be operated without the skillful command of language; in every transaction with the public, intelligent exchange of information is an essential element.” (p. 531)

Unlike many Business English texts of the period, Galloway’s Office Management offered guidance concerning both spoken language as well as written.  For example, Galloway recommended that an effective method for remedying the verbal inadequacies of office employees is to hire a “speech critic or supervisor” for “instructing new employees in the speech rules of the organization.” (p. 552)

When discussing the appropriate verbal language of executives, he advised supervisors to address subordinates “…in language which is vivid and not too involved.  It is well to repeat an important fact twice or perhaps three times in different ways. By repeating the thought something will probably be reached which is within the beat of their minds.”  However, he admonished, “Explanations to upper officials are made in an entirely different way.  Here the essentials are, first, to give the right slant and stress to proper points; second, to present the matter with sufficient tact, using suggestion rather than explicit command.” (p. 560)

Obsolete as Professor Galloway’s recommendations may now seem, he was attempting to wrestle with communication issues that still concern instructors and researchers of business communication:


  • What spoken words and messages must be avoided in the workplace?
  • How is speech in the workplace influenced by power relationships?
  • How are verbal presentations constructed effectively to convey the intended meanings?
  • How can speakers craft their messages to address the needs of diverse, equitable, and inclusive working environments?

The Business Practices Committee will sponsor a panel hosted at the 2022 ABC International Annual Conference; its focus will be “Verbal Communication in the Workplace.” The panel will include three presentations that offer original research concerning ways in which verbal communication influences the content, perceived meanings, and consequences (intended or unintended) of corporate and workplace communications. Case studies, historical analyses, ethnographic treatments, rhetorical and discourse analyses, quantitative studies, or other appropriate research methodologies are welcomed.  

Individuals or research teams interested in presenting their research are invited to submit a proposal abstract (approximately 500 words) as indicated below.  Panelists will be selected based upon review by members of the Business Practices Committee.


Please send abstracts by Friday, May 13, 2022, to the Committee Chair, Sam DeKay, at


If you submit the same proposal both for this panel and for the general conference, please include the following statement in the first line of the extended abstract for your general conference submission: “BACKUP SUBMISSION. Note that this proposal is also submitted for consideration to the Business Practices Panel.”


If you have further questions concerning the Business Practices Committee or its sponsored panel at the 2022 International Conference, please contact the above email address.