Babel in business: The language barrier and its solutions in the HQ-subsidiary relationship
Using interview data from managers in eight German and Japanese corporate HQs and their subsidiaries in Japan or Germany, we provide the first large-scale empirical analysis of the language barrier and its solutions. We found that language is an important barrier, slowing down and increasing the cost of decision-making. Our research suggests twelve different solutions, ranging from informal day-to-day solutions such as changing communication patterns and code-switching, to more structural solutions such as language training and a common corporate language. We confirm and extend previous research and conclude that future research should more explicitly consider the different configurations of language skills for HQ and subsidiary managers.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 46 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/description#description |
|Order Information:|| Postal: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/bibliographic|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- 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.
- Peltokorpi, Vesa, 2007. "Intercultural communication patterns and tactics: Nordic expatriates in Japan," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 68-82, February.
- Harzing, Anne-Wil, 2001. "Of bears, bumble-bees, and spiders: the role of expatriates in controlling foreign subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 366-379, January.
- Welch, Catherine & Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca & Penttinen, Heli & Tahvanainen, Marja, 2002. "Corporate elites as informants in qualitative international business research," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 11(5), pages 611-628, October.
- Soskice, David W, 1993. "Social Skills from Mass Higher Education: Rethinking the Company-Based Initial Training Paradigm," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(3), pages 101-13, Autumn.
- 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.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:46:y:2011:i:3:p:279-287. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.