Language Ideologies and Practices in a Multinational Startup

Marta Zofia Paczesny

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis presents a qualitative research of language ideologies and practices in aDanish multinational startup company based in Poland. The analysis of the recruitment processand personnel base in the Customer Service department points to a relative uniformity of thestaff when it comes to its age and experiences to do with foreign language use. The followinganalysis of language ideologies point to conflicting beliefs, whereby English is thought of asthe only possibility when it comes to international internal communication within the companyand the only common denominator among the employees. At the same time, however, manyother foreign languages continue to be employed throughout the company due to the belief thatsuccessful and efficient communication is the most important. It is assumed in the thesis thatthese language ideologies guide linguistic practices which reveal an abundance of languagesbeing at constant use throughout the company. All in all, the results of the analysis pointto an unstructured approach towards the language of internal communication, whereby it isnot the formal guidelines that drive the linguistic practices but rather a set of implicit rules.The thesis also discusses whether multinational startup companies could benefit as much froma structured and proactive approach towards the language of internal communication as wellestablished MNCs as is suggested by Marschan-Piekkari et al. (1999a) Finally, the discussionexamines how startup companies should approach designing its linguistic policies and practices.

EducationsCand.ling.merc Erhvervssprog og International Erhvervskommunikation (Multikulturel Kommunikation i Organisationer), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages144