IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/worbus/v48y2013i1p87-97.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Language competencies, policies and practices in multinational corporations: A comprehensive review and comparison of Anglophone, Asian, Continental European and Nordic MNCs

Author

Listed:
  • Harzing, Anne-Wil
  • Pudelko, Markus

Abstract

The importance of language differences in multinational companies (MNCs) can hardly be overlooked. This paper therefore provides the first large-scale quantitative overview of language competencies, policies and practices in MNCs. It is based on data from more than 800 subsidiaries, located in thirteen different countries with headquarters in more than 25 different countries, which were aggregated into four distinct home country clusters. This comprehensive study allows us to differentiate prior conceptual or case-based findings according to home, host and corporate languages and to develop managerial implications which vary according to the different country clusters.

Suggested Citation

  • Harzing, Anne-Wil & Pudelko, Markus, 2013. "Language competencies, policies and practices in multinational corporations: A comprehensive review and comparison of Anglophone, Asian, Continental European and Nordic MNCs," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 87-97.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:48:y:2013:i:1:p:87-97 DOI: 10.1016/j.jwb.2012.06.011
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S109095161200048X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Barner-Rasmussen, Wilhelm & Björkman, Ingmar, 2007. "Language Fluency, Socialization and Inter-Unit Relationships in Chinese and Finnish Subsidiaries," Management and Organization Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 105-128, March.
    3. Steyaert, Chris & Ostendorp, Anja & Gaibrois, Claudine, 2011. "Multilingual organizations as 'linguascapes': Negotiating the position of English through discursive practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 270-278, July.
    4. 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;Academy of International Business, vol. 37(3), pages 321-339, May.
    5. Harzing, Anne-Wil, 1997. "Response rates in international mail surveys: Results of a 22-country study," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 6(6), pages 641-665, December.
    6. Denice Welch & Lawrence Welch & Rebecca Marschan-Piekkari, 2001. "The Persistent Impact of Language on Global Operations," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 193-209.
    7. 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.
    8. Harzing, Anne-Wil & Baldueza, Joyce & Barner-Rasmussen, Wilhelm & Barzantny, Cordula & Canabal, Anne & Davila, Anabella & Espejo, Alvaro & Ferreira, Rita & Giroud, Axele & Koester, Kathrin & Liang, Yu, 2009. "Rating versus ranking: What is the best way to reduce response and language bias in cross-national research?," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 417-432, August.
    9. Usunier, Jean-Claude, 2011. "Language as a resource to assess cross-cultural equivalence in quantitative management research," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 314-319, July.
    10. Barner-Rasmussen, Wilhelm & Aarnio, Christoffer, 2011. "Shifting the faultlines of language: A quantitative functional-level exploration of language use in MNC subsidiaries," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 288-295, July.
    11. Harzing, Anne-Wil & Köster, Kathrin & Magner, Ulrike, 2011. "Babel in business: The language barrier and its solutions in the HQ-subsidiary relationship," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 279-287, July.
    12. Armstrong, J. Scott & Overton, Terry S., 1977. "Estimating Nonresponse Bias in Mail Surveys," MPRA Paper 81694, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Hideki Yoshihara, 1999. "Glibal Operationsa Managed by Japanese and in Japanese," Discussion Paper Series 108, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Zhang, Ling Eleanor & Harzing, Anne-Wil, 2016. "From dilemmatic struggle to legitimized indifference: Expatriates’ host country language learning and its impact on the expatriate-HCE relationship," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 774-786.
    2. Amy Church-Morel & A. Bartel-Radic, 2014. "" Not all multilingual teams are created equal " : Conceptualizing language diversity management," Post-Print halshs-01185822, HAL.
    3. Dan Wang & Di Fan & Susan Freeman & Cherrie Jiuhua Zhu, 2017. "Exploring cross-cultural skills for expatriate managers from Chinese multinationals: Congruence and contextualization," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 34(1), pages 123-146, March.
    4. Tenzer, Helene & Terjesen, Siri & Harzing, Anne-wil, 2017. "Language in international business : A review and agenda for future research," Other publications TiSEM 8afd108a-9666-4fbb-934f-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    5. Yamao, Sachiko & Sekiguchi, Tomoki, 2015. "Employee commitment to corporate globalization: The role of English language proficiency and human resource practices," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 168-179.
    6. Peltokorpi, Vesa, 2015. "Corporate Language Proficiency and Reverse Knowledge Transfer in Multinational Corporations: Interactive Effects of Communication Media Richness and Commitment to Headquarters," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 49-62.
    7. Aichhorn, Nathalie & Puck, Jonas, 2017. "Bridging the language gap in multinational companies: Language strategies and the notion of company-speak," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 386-403.
    8. Itani, Sami & Järlström, Maria & Piekkari, Rebecca, 2015. "The meaning of language skills for career mobility in the new career landscape," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 368-378.
    9. Peltokorpi, Vesa & Yamao, Sachiko, 2017. "Corporate language proficiency in reverse knowledge transfer: A moderated mediation model of shared vision and communication frequency," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 404-416.
    10. Wang, Dan & Feng, Taiwen & Freeman, Susan & Fan, Di & Zhu, Cherrie Jiuhua, 2014. "Unpacking the “skill – cross-cultural competence” mechanisms: Empirical evidence from Chinese expatriate managers," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 530-541.
    11. Kostova, Tatiana & Marano, Valentina & Tallman, Stephen, 2016. "Headquarters–subsidiary relationships in MNCs: Fifty years of evolving research," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 176-184.
    12. Tenzer, Helene & Pudelko, Markus, 2017. "The influence of language differences on power dynamics in multinational teams," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-61.
    13. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-017-0319-x is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Peltokorpi, Vesa, 2015. "Foreign subsidiary top manager nationality and language policy: The moderating effects of subsidiary age and size," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 739-748.
    15. repec:eee:iburev:v:27:y:2018:i:1:p:125-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Sui, Sui & Morgan, Horatio M. & Baum, Matthias, 2015. "Internationalization of immigrant-owned SMEs: The role of language," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 804-814.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:48:y:2013:i:1:p:87-97. 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: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/wps/find/journaldescription.cws_home/620401/description#description .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.