10 Reasons Why Corporate Language Policies Can Create More Problems Than They Solve

Guro Refsum Sanden

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalPaper without publisher/journalResearchpeer-review

Abstract

One of the challenges multinational corporations (MNCs) are faced with, is the question of how to communicate through the language barriers presented by linguistic diversity. An increasing number of companies choose to address these issues through corporate language policies, for example by adopting a common corporate language. Language policies are often seen as a cheap and easy solution to overcome communicative problems, but previous research has demonstrated that there might be several potentially negative consequences associated with them. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on the role of corporate language policies in international management, and to emphasise the power of language as it reveals itself if language policies are treated without care. The 10 “language policy mistakes” discussed in this paper are; problems at the individual level, problems in regards to collaboration and group dynamics, communicative problems, language policies which leads to reallocation of power, divergence between de facto vs. de jure language policies, language policies which are not aligned with the overall business plan of the company, language management tools which are implemented incautiously, reactive rather than proactive language policies, inadequate language policies due to unawareness, and finally, inadequate language policies due to unresponsiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2014
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20145 Aug 2014
Conference number: 74
http://aom.org/annualmeeting/

Conference

ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014
Number74
CountryUnited States
CityPhiladelphia
Period01/08/201405/08/2014
Internet address

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