Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company: Management vs. Employee Perspectives

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

    Abstract

    Sociolinguistic studies of language in the workplace have found that linguistic diversity may be a challenge in terms of communication barriers and social exclusion. In some organisations, introduction of an ‘English only’ language policy has been seen as the solution to overcome language barriers. However, creating a language policy does not automatically ensure that language practices change. So far, few studies have focused specifically on the creation and implementation of language policies. To remedy this gap, this presentation investigates how and why language policies are made, but also how the employees receive them. As such, the study assumes the dual perspective of management and employees. The data comes from a case study of Danish engineering company and includes language policy documents, interviews with communication employees, and focus groups with employees from three different departments.
    To gain insights into the management perspective, a critical discourse analysis of interviews with policy makers and policy documents aims at answering the following question: To what extent can corporate language policy be seen as a
    tool that is designed to bring about change in company culture? To shed light on the employee perspective, the analysis of the focus group data focuses on the factors influencing employees’ reception of a new language policy. Using
    sociolinguistic stancetaking theory (Jaffe 2009), the analysis reveals that employees take a range of stances from embracing to resisting the language policy. Factors such as individual English competence and the local linguistic
    ecology in different departments are found to influence how people position themselves vis-à-vis the new policy.
    By looking both at management intentions and employee reactions, this study sheds light on issues of power and resistance in the international workplace and shows how the mismatch between the two perspectives may hinder the
    successful implementation of a language policy.
    Jaffe, A. (Ed.). 2009. Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2015
    Number of pages1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    EventContextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop - Tromsø, Norway
    Duration: 9 Oct 20159 Oct 2015
    https://en.uit.no/tavla/artikkel/420814/contextualizing_linguistic_diversity_in_instituti

    Workshop

    WorkshopContextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop
    CountryNorway
    CityTromsø
    Period09/10/201509/10/2015
    Internet address

    Cite this

    Lønsmann, D. (2015). Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company: Management vs. Employee Perspectives. Abstract from Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop, Tromsø, Norway.
    Lønsmann, Dorte. / Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company : Management vs. Employee Perspectives. Abstract from Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop, Tromsø, Norway.1 p.
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    abstract = "Sociolinguistic studies of language in the workplace have found that linguistic diversity may be a challenge in terms of communication barriers and social exclusion. In some organisations, introduction of an ‘English only’ language policy has been seen as the solution to overcome language barriers. However, creating a language policy does not automatically ensure that language practices change. So far, few studies have focused specifically on the creation and implementation of language policies. To remedy this gap, this presentation investigates how and why language policies are made, but also how the employees receive them. As such, the study assumes the dual perspective of management and employees. The data comes from a case study of Danish engineering company and includes language policy documents, interviews with communication employees, and focus groups with employees from three different departments.To gain insights into the management perspective, a critical discourse analysis of interviews with policy makers and policy documents aims at answering the following question: To what extent can corporate language policy be seen as atool that is designed to bring about change in company culture? To shed light on the employee perspective, the analysis of the focus group data focuses on the factors influencing employees’ reception of a new language policy. Usingsociolinguistic stancetaking theory (Jaffe 2009), the analysis reveals that employees take a range of stances from embracing to resisting the language policy. Factors such as individual English competence and the local linguisticecology in different departments are found to influence how people position themselves vis-{\`a}-vis the new policy.By looking both at management intentions and employee reactions, this study sheds light on issues of power and resistance in the international workplace and shows how the mismatch between the two perspectives may hinder thesuccessful implementation of a language policy.Jaffe, A. (Ed.). 2009. Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.",
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    Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company : Management vs. Employee Perspectives. / Lønsmann, Dorte.

    2015. Abstract from Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop, Tromsø, Norway.

    Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearch

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    T1 - Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company

    T2 - Management vs. Employee Perspectives

    AU - Lønsmann, Dorte

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - Sociolinguistic studies of language in the workplace have found that linguistic diversity may be a challenge in terms of communication barriers and social exclusion. In some organisations, introduction of an ‘English only’ language policy has been seen as the solution to overcome language barriers. However, creating a language policy does not automatically ensure that language practices change. So far, few studies have focused specifically on the creation and implementation of language policies. To remedy this gap, this presentation investigates how and why language policies are made, but also how the employees receive them. As such, the study assumes the dual perspective of management and employees. The data comes from a case study of Danish engineering company and includes language policy documents, interviews with communication employees, and focus groups with employees from three different departments.To gain insights into the management perspective, a critical discourse analysis of interviews with policy makers and policy documents aims at answering the following question: To what extent can corporate language policy be seen as atool that is designed to bring about change in company culture? To shed light on the employee perspective, the analysis of the focus group data focuses on the factors influencing employees’ reception of a new language policy. Usingsociolinguistic stancetaking theory (Jaffe 2009), the analysis reveals that employees take a range of stances from embracing to resisting the language policy. Factors such as individual English competence and the local linguisticecology in different departments are found to influence how people position themselves vis-à-vis the new policy.By looking both at management intentions and employee reactions, this study sheds light on issues of power and resistance in the international workplace and shows how the mismatch between the two perspectives may hinder thesuccessful implementation of a language policy.Jaffe, A. (Ed.). 2009. Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    AB - Sociolinguistic studies of language in the workplace have found that linguistic diversity may be a challenge in terms of communication barriers and social exclusion. In some organisations, introduction of an ‘English only’ language policy has been seen as the solution to overcome language barriers. However, creating a language policy does not automatically ensure that language practices change. So far, few studies have focused specifically on the creation and implementation of language policies. To remedy this gap, this presentation investigates how and why language policies are made, but also how the employees receive them. As such, the study assumes the dual perspective of management and employees. The data comes from a case study of Danish engineering company and includes language policy documents, interviews with communication employees, and focus groups with employees from three different departments.To gain insights into the management perspective, a critical discourse analysis of interviews with policy makers and policy documents aims at answering the following question: To what extent can corporate language policy be seen as atool that is designed to bring about change in company culture? To shed light on the employee perspective, the analysis of the focus group data focuses on the factors influencing employees’ reception of a new language policy. Usingsociolinguistic stancetaking theory (Jaffe 2009), the analysis reveals that employees take a range of stances from embracing to resisting the language policy. Factors such as individual English competence and the local linguisticecology in different departments are found to influence how people position themselves vis-à-vis the new policy.By looking both at management intentions and employee reactions, this study sheds light on issues of power and resistance in the international workplace and shows how the mismatch between the two perspectives may hinder thesuccessful implementation of a language policy.Jaffe, A. (Ed.). 2009. Stance: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    M3 - Conference abstract for conference

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    Lønsmann D. Managing Linguistic Diversity in a Global Company: Management vs. Employee Perspectives. 2015. Abstract from Contextualizing Linguistic Diversity in Institutional Settings workshop, Tromsø, Norway.