Local Intermediaries and their Organisational Identification in a French Subsidiary

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The paper explores identification processes among subsidiary
employees who function as intermediaries between the subsidiary and
headquarters thanks to their competencies in the common corporate language.
The study is based on a qualitative in-depth case study and adopts a social
constructionist approach to identification. The paper adds theoretically
to the literature on languages in international business in three ways. First, it
illustrates that fulfilling a role as local intermediary affects identification
processes among subsidiary employees. Second, the paper shows that the
literature on organisational identification contributes in conceptualising local
intermediaries’ motivation for identification in terms of self-enhancement and
sense-making. Third, the empirical analysis indicates that feelings of selfesteem
and sense-making may derive from symbolic resources for constructing
workplace-related identities that prevail within the societal context of the
subsidiary. In terms of managerial relevance, the study shows the importance
of identifying the subsidiary employees that fulfil roles as local intermediaries
in order to recognise their efforts and to foster organisational identification.
When doing so, it might be relevant to consider prevailing symbolic resources
in the local context, rather than the language.
The paper explores identification processes among subsidiary
employees who function as intermediaries between the subsidiary and
headquarters thanks to their competencies in the common corporate language.
The study is based on a qualitative in-depth case study and adopts a social
constructionist approach to identification. The paper adds theoretically
to the literature on languages in international business in three ways. First, it
illustrates that fulfilling a role as local intermediary affects identification
processes among subsidiary employees. Second, the paper shows that the
literature on organisational identification contributes in conceptualising local
intermediaries’ motivation for identification in terms of self-enhancement and
sense-making. Third, the empirical analysis indicates that feelings of selfesteem
and sense-making may derive from symbolic resources for constructing
workplace-related identities that prevail within the societal context of the
subsidiary. In terms of managerial relevance, the study shows the importance
of identifying the subsidiary employees that fulfil roles as local intermediaries
in order to recognise their efforts and to foster organisational identification.
When doing so, it might be relevant to consider prevailing symbolic resources
in the local context, rather than the language.
LanguageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of International Management
Volume13
Issue number1
Pages88-110
Number of pages23
ISSN1751-6757
DOIs
StatePublished - 2019

Keywords

  • Subsidiary employees
  • Language intermediaries
  • Organisational identification
  • Profession
  • Corporate values and procedures
  • Culture
  • Qualitative study
  • France

Cite this

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abstract = "The paper explores identification processes among subsidiaryemployees who function as intermediaries between the subsidiary andheadquarters thanks to their competencies in the common corporate language.The study is based on a qualitative in-depth case study and adopts a socialconstructionist approach to identification. The paper adds theoreticallyto the literature on languages in international business in three ways. First, itillustrates that fulfilling a role as local intermediary affects identificationprocesses among subsidiary employees. Second, the paper shows that theliterature on organisational identification contributes in conceptualising localintermediaries’ motivation for identification in terms of self-enhancement andsense-making. Third, the empirical analysis indicates that feelings of selfesteemand sense-making may derive from symbolic resources for constructingworkplace-related identities that prevail within the societal context of thesubsidiary. In terms of managerial relevance, the study shows the importanceof identifying the subsidiary employees that fulfil roles as local intermediariesin order to recognise their efforts and to foster organisational identification.When doing so, it might be relevant to consider prevailing symbolic resourcesin the local context, rather than the language.",
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Local Intermediaries and their Organisational Identification in a French Subsidiary. / Zølner, Mette.

In: European Journal of International Management, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2019, p. 88-110.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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