The objective of this thesis is to measure whether the introduction of a language policy at the Danish Patent and Trademark Office has had the desired effect on the Office’s communication. The language policy was introduced as a part of a new branding strategy to modernise the Office’s image among its stakeholders. Through this case study, the thesis will try to illustrate which factors influence the effectiveness of a language policy. As far as we know, there have not been previous attempts to measure the effect of a language policy on a company’s communication. It is remarkable that no communication professionals or researchers have been interested in documenting the effect of their work, and that companies have not tried to measure the effect of the often resource demanding project it is to develop and implement a language policy. Due to the lack of measurements on the effectiveness of specific language policies, it has not been clarified which factors influence the effectiveness of a language policy in practise. This is what this thesis intends to highlight. The analysis shows that the introduction of a language policy at the Danish Patent and Trademark Office has had some effect on the communication. Some of the employees had become more aware of their language usage, as the introduction of a language policy in itself has highlighted the importance of language. Furthermore, the written texts we analysed from the Office to some extent had become more user friendly in accordance with the language policy, but the results from interviews with some of the Office’s customers illustrated that the customers had not noticed an improvement in the communication. On the basis of the analysis, it is concluded that the Danish Patent and Trademark Office has not reached its objective of homogenising and simplifying the communication to its stakeholders. The underlying factors influencing the language policy’s failing to reach its objective are a combination of several aspects. The two factors with the most influence on the low level of usage of the language policy among the employees were the implementation of the language policy as well as the operationality, or usability, of the language policy in everyday work. During the implementation process there has not been sufficient focus on the language policy itself, and the process was stopped after the launch of the language policy, so that many of the planned activities after the launch were not carried out. Also, the culture of the Danish Patent and Trademark Office with strong focus on professional competence was not taken sufficiently into account during the development and implementation of the language policy. In addition, the employees received negative feedback from each other, the customers and their managers about the usability of the language policy, influencing their tendency to use it. It has not been sufficiently considered how the language policy should be used by the employees during their work processes. In its current layout, the language policy functions as a general introduction on how to improve the way the employees communicate. However, in order to become an effective tool it should be elaborated further with more specific advice on improving communication. These more specific guidelines could preferably be made accessible electronically e.g. on the intranet, so that employees may find them quickly and easily. In this way, the thesis emphasises the importance of considering the culture of the organisation in which the language policy is to be implemented as well as considering how the language policy is to become part of the organisational work processes.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||284|