Language in International Business

Language in International Business

The Multilingual Reality of Global Business Expansion

Rebecca Piekkari, Denice E. Welch and Lawrence S. Welch

Language matters in international business and global business expansion inevitably mean encountering challenges of communication, language and translation. This book presents a thorough and rigorous analysis of language related to all aspects of global business – international management, networks, HRM, international marketing, strategy and foreign operations modes.

Chapter 3: Confronting language: the individual in the organizational context

Rebecca Piekkari, Denice E. Welch and Lawrence S. Welch

Subjects: business and management, international business, strategic management


In Chapter 1, we considered how language emerges as an issue for internationalizing firms. How this happens should not be expected to be consistent across all firms. National language, as we show through the use of hypothetical language paths, can influence how, where and at what stage firms confront the language issue. Once firms reach a substantial level and spread of international operations, however, it becomes more challenging to deal with language. In the following chapters, we will consider how management and individuals cope. We begin with a key managerial concern: how to maintain control, direction and coordination as the firm grows across borders, gathering languages as a consequence. We then consider how individual employees respond to the way in which management attempts to ‘handle’ the language challenge, particularly the imposition of a common corporate language (CCL).

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information