Discretionary Power on the Front-line: A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management

Guro Refsum Sanden, Dorte Lønsmann

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This article investigates the communication practices used by front-line employees to cross language boundaries in the context of English language policies implemented by the management of three multinational corporations (MNCs) headquartered in Scandinavia. Based on an analysis of interview and document data, our findings show that employees face a number of different language boundaries in their everyday work, and that ad hoc and informal solutions in many cases are vital for successful cross-language communication. We introduce the concept of ‘discretionary power’ to explain how and why front-line employees diverge from the corporate language policies, and emphasise the role of individual agency in the implementation of language policy. With a focus on the communication practices of front-line employees, the article contributes with a bottom-up, employee-centred perspective on corporate language management, emphasising the importance of paying attention to the micro level of everyday interactions in the study of language policy and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages39
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventThe SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference: Organizations, Institutions, and Nation-States - Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, United States
Duration: 11 May 2017 → …
https://wcfia.harvard.edu/event/scancor-weatherhead-spring-2017-conference-5-11-17

Conference

ConferenceThe SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference
LocationHarvard University
CountryUnited States
CityCambridge, MA
Period11/05/2017 → …
Internet address

Bibliographical note

CBS Library does not have access to the material

Keywords

  • English as a corporate language
  • Discretionary power
  • Linguistic diversity
  • Language policy
  • Front-line
  • Employee perspective

Cite this

Sanden, G. R., & Lønsmann, D. (2017). Discretionary Power on the Front-line: A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management. Paper presented at The SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference, Cambridge, MA, United States.
Sanden, Guro Refsum ; Lønsmann, Dorte. / Discretionary Power on the Front-line : A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management. Paper presented at The SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference, Cambridge, MA, United States.39 p.
@conference{edb6ed2df712406f8fc41bdfb5810cf7,
title = "Discretionary Power on the Front-line: A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management",
abstract = "This article investigates the communication practices used by front-line employees to cross language boundaries in the context of English language policies implemented by the management of three multinational corporations (MNCs) headquartered in Scandinavia. Based on an analysis of interview and document data, our findings show that employees face a number of different language boundaries in their everyday work, and that ad hoc and informal solutions in many cases are vital for successful cross-language communication. We introduce the concept of ‘discretionary power’ to explain how and why front-line employees diverge from the corporate language policies, and emphasise the role of individual agency in the implementation of language policy. With a focus on the communication practices of front-line employees, the article contributes with a bottom-up, employee-centred perspective on corporate language management, emphasising the importance of paying attention to the micro level of everyday interactions in the study of language policy and practice.",
keywords = "English as a corporate language, Discretionary power, Linguistic diversity, Language policy, Front-line, Employee perspective, English as a corporate language, Discretionary power, Linguistic diversity, Language policy, Front-line, Employee perspective",
author = "Sanden, {Guro Refsum} and Dorte L{\o}nsmann",
note = "CBS Library does not have access to the material; null ; Conference date: 11-05-2017",
year = "2017",
language = "English",
url = "https://wcfia.harvard.edu/event/scancor-weatherhead-spring-2017-conference-5-11-17",

}

Sanden, GR & Lønsmann, D 2017, 'Discretionary Power on the Front-line: A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management' Paper presented at, Cambridge, MA, United States, 11/05/2017, .

Discretionary Power on the Front-line : A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management. / Sanden, Guro Refsum; Lønsmann, Dorte.

2017. Paper presented at The SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference, Cambridge, MA, United States.

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

TY - CONF

T1 - Discretionary Power on the Front-line

T2 - A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management

AU - Sanden, Guro Refsum

AU - Lønsmann, Dorte

N1 - CBS Library does not have access to the material

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - This article investigates the communication practices used by front-line employees to cross language boundaries in the context of English language policies implemented by the management of three multinational corporations (MNCs) headquartered in Scandinavia. Based on an analysis of interview and document data, our findings show that employees face a number of different language boundaries in their everyday work, and that ad hoc and informal solutions in many cases are vital for successful cross-language communication. We introduce the concept of ‘discretionary power’ to explain how and why front-line employees diverge from the corporate language policies, and emphasise the role of individual agency in the implementation of language policy. With a focus on the communication practices of front-line employees, the article contributes with a bottom-up, employee-centred perspective on corporate language management, emphasising the importance of paying attention to the micro level of everyday interactions in the study of language policy and practice.

AB - This article investigates the communication practices used by front-line employees to cross language boundaries in the context of English language policies implemented by the management of three multinational corporations (MNCs) headquartered in Scandinavia. Based on an analysis of interview and document data, our findings show that employees face a number of different language boundaries in their everyday work, and that ad hoc and informal solutions in many cases are vital for successful cross-language communication. We introduce the concept of ‘discretionary power’ to explain how and why front-line employees diverge from the corporate language policies, and emphasise the role of individual agency in the implementation of language policy. With a focus on the communication practices of front-line employees, the article contributes with a bottom-up, employee-centred perspective on corporate language management, emphasising the importance of paying attention to the micro level of everyday interactions in the study of language policy and practice.

KW - English as a corporate language

KW - Discretionary power

KW - Linguistic diversity

KW - Language policy

KW - Front-line

KW - Employee perspective

KW - English as a corporate language

KW - Discretionary power

KW - Linguistic diversity

KW - Language policy

KW - Front-line

KW - Employee perspective

M3 - Paper

ER -

Sanden GR, Lønsmann D. Discretionary Power on the Front-line: A Bottom-up perspective on corporate Language Management. 2017. Paper presented at The SCANCOR-Weatherhead Spring 2017 Conference, Cambridge, MA, United States.