Publication Date



Key Findings

  • Individuals chose a favorable outcome for a new company, new product, or new employee significantly less often after hearing advocating messages from nonnative accented speakers as opposed to from speakers with standard American accents.
  • What's more, those individuals who hold a stronger pro-American bias are even more likely to approve of its content when spoken by American Speakers who do not speak with a foreign accent. Those with low pro-American bias showed no such choice preference.
  • Non-standard accented messages may violate expectations regarding business norms and may therefore be distracting to listening. Although recent research by Huang and colleagues (2013) suggests that individuals with nonnative accents may be passed over for promotion because of stereotyping regarding ability or competence, there was no support for this theory in this research.


Recommended Citation
Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies. (2014, August). It's not what was said but how it was said (CAHRS ResearchLink No. 2). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, ILR School.