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 9: Language strategy and management

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

Subjects: business and management, international business, strategic management


Language strategy has been defined as ‘the planned adoption of a range of techniques to facilitate effective communication with clients and suppliers abroad’ (Hagen, 2011, 4). What is still somewhat unknown is at what stage, if ever, internationalizing firms develop such formal language strategies. What we can say, based on our treatment of language in earlier chapters of this book, is that, whether the language is formal or not, internationalizing firms develop varied responses to language demands over time. Collectively, these may be referred to as their evolving language strategies. It is not the objective of this chapter to provide a full review of how firms design strategies to further their global intentions.

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