Evaluating in an Intercultural Context: the Delicate Ground of Multinational Audit Reports

Margherita Ulrych, Amanda Clare Murphy

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


This paper investigates the prominent evaluative aspects of internal audit reports, a specialized type of business discourse, and considers them from an intercultural perspective. Based on data from a multinational based in Italy, we first describe the audit process, which is divided into three main stages: fieldwork, drawing up the reports and then negotiation of the findings. We recount the experience of two internal auditors who regularly perform internal audits in company branches all over the world, using English as a lingua franca, and then examine the intercultural aspects that need to be taken into account before the final report is drawn up. An analysis of the textual and lexico-grammatical features of the reports follows, concentrating particularly on the lexico-grammatical evaluative aspects. The paper concludes that intercultural features are part of the auditing process in two ways, but to differing degrees: on the one hand, the Italian auditors who travel abroad deal with personnel in branches of the company which are embedded in other cultures. Ideally, the auditors need to be prepared for these encounters. On the other hand, when they draw up the report, they have to write a standardized, highly formulaic document in terms of format, content and structure, in which the intercultural aspects rarely emerge explicitly. The methodological approach adopted is both quantitative and qualitative. The audit reports amount to 50,000 words in English, and they come from 6 different countries in Europe, Africa and Asia. The reports were saved in electronic format and treated as a corpus, which were examined using Scott’s Wordsmith Tools (1999, Version 3.00). Information from a telephone interview with two auditors (AB and AT) regarding the intercultural aspects of their work is also included in the paper.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteLinguistica. Linguaggi specialistici, didattica delle lingue
EditorGiuliana Garzone, Rita Salvi
Numero di pagine12
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2007


  • Audit Reports
  • Evaluation
  • Intercultural Communication
  • Specialized Discourse


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