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Standardization and contextualization: A study of language and leadership across 17 countries

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Author Info

  • Zander, Lena
  • Mockaitis, Audra I.
  • Harzing, Anne-Wil

Abstract

With multinational corporations increasingly adopting English as a corporate language, the issue of language management and the pros and cons of language standardization have been widely debated in the literature. Our 17-country study considers whether the use of English as a common corporate language causes difficulties. We empirically examine whether managerial reactions to specific leadership scenario-based situations change as a consequence of the language they use. Our results show that the choice of language (native or English) does not matter much for the studied leadership scenarios. Instead, leadership decisions and reactions depend more on cultural and situational context.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 296-304

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Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:46:y:2011:i:3:p:296-304

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Related research

Keywords: Language Leadership Context Culture Multinational company Cultural accommodation;

References

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  1. Janssens, Maddy & Lambert, José & Steyaert, Chris, 2004. "Developing language strategies for international companies: the contribution of translation studies," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 414-430, November.
  2. Griffith, David A., 2002. "The role of communication competencies in international business relationship development," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 256-265, January.
  3. Robert T Green & Phillip D White, 1976. "Methodological Considerations in Cross-National Consumer Research," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 7(2), pages 81-88, June.
  4. Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca & Welch, Denice & Welch, Lawrence, 1999. "In the shadow: the impact of language on structure, power and communication in the multinational," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 421-440, August.
  5. Yadong Luo & Oded Shenkar, 2006. "The multinational corporation as a multilingual community: Language and organization in a global context," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 37(3), pages 321-339, May.
  6. Marschan, Rebecca & Welch, Denice & Welch, Lawrence, 1997. "Language: The forgotten factor in multinational management," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 591-598, October.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Youssef, Carolyn M. & Luthans, Fred, 2012. "Positive global leadership," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 539-547.
  2. Klitmøller, Anders & Lauring, Jakob, 2013. "When global virtual teams share knowledge: Media richness, cultural difference and language commonality," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 398-406.

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