'This is a terrific book. With English now established as the lingua franca of business, some might be tempted to assume that language isn't a big deal any more in the world of business. But the authors show how mistaken this assumption is. With a mix of careful of research and detailed examples, they show how language use in international firms influences the meaning of written documents, power relationships between people, and how individuals make sense of their corporate environment. Language becomes, in effect, a window on the entire set of challenges faced by an international firm, and this has profound implications for executives and researchers alike.
- Julian Birkinshaw, London Business School, UK
'A comprehensive treatment of a key international business variable that we all too often take for granted. Language is and will remain a critical component of business performance in a global environment.'
- Oded Shenkar, Ford Motor Company Chair in Global Business Management, Fisher College of Business, The Ohio State University, US
'The authors' analysis of the multilingual reality of global business expansion is consistent with my experience as chairman of a global company. Although the book has been written by academics, the writing style is clear and direct, making it an accessible and enjoyable read for anyone in the business community who is interested in the way language impacts business performance. I am happy to recommend it.'
- Antti Herlin, Board Chairman, KONE Corporation, Finland
Language permeates every facet of international business in the 21st century. However, being aware of this multilingual reality is not enough. This book presents a case for recognizing and appreciating the importance of language, its multifaceted role and the range of effects it may have on internationalizing firms.
Responding to the growing interest in the role of language in international business, this book presents language as a critical management challenge for the internationalizing firm. Several perspectives are explored, including the individual, the firm and the broader society in which language use is embedded. Empirical examples of language roles are identified through examining human resource management, international marketing and foreign operation modes and networks in business. Language in International Business reveals a fresh understanding of the complexity of the multilingual reality that internationalizing firms face.
Students from undergraduate to PhD level studying international business and management, sociolinguistics or international business communication will benefit from the rich source of new research questions ascertained in this book. Business practitioners will find the book insightful, managerially-oriented, and easily accessible.
Contents: 1. Language and Global Business Expansion 2. Translation 3. Confronting Language: The Individual in the Organisational Context 4. Language and International Management 5. Language and Networks 6. Language and Human Resource Management 7. Language and International Marketing 8. Language and Foreign Operation Modes 9. Language Strategy and Management 10. Conclusion Index