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.
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|
|Event||The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014: The Power of Words - Philadelphia, United States|
Duration: 1 Aug 2014 → 5 Aug 2014
Conference number: 74
|Conference||The Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2014|
|Period||01/08/2014 → 05/08/2014|