The multinational corporation as a multilingual community: Language and organization in a global context

Yadong Luo, Oded Shenkar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

152 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper develops a framework for analyzing the multinational corporation (MNC) as a multilingual community in which parent functional language and subunit functional languages are concurrently used and recursively linked through an intra-corporate communication network. The unit, breadth and intensity of an MNC's language system are designed to apply global strategies within the context of evolving environmental and organizational realities. To the extent that language design is the product of deliberate choice, we suggest that headquarters functional language is determined by the MNC's international strategy, organizational structure, and transnationality, while subunit functional language is designed in accordance with organizational form, strategic role, and expatriate deployment. Aligning language systems with organizational strategy and dynamics improves MNC communication, coordination, and knowledge-sharing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)321-339
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of International Business Studies
Volume37
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2006

Fingerprint

Telecommunication networks
Industry
Communication
Language
Multinational corporations

Keywords

  • Global strategy
  • Language design
  • Multilingual system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

The multinational corporation as a multilingual community : Language and organization in a global context. / Luo, Yadong; Shenkar, Oded.

In: Journal of International Business Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3, 05.2006, p. 321-339.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{04212a85f72e4c5c8843f31fd2722819,
title = "The multinational corporation as a multilingual community: Language and organization in a global context",
abstract = "This paper develops a framework for analyzing the multinational corporation (MNC) as a multilingual community in which parent functional language and subunit functional languages are concurrently used and recursively linked through an intra-corporate communication network. The unit, breadth and intensity of an MNC's language system are designed to apply global strategies within the context of evolving environmental and organizational realities. To the extent that language design is the product of deliberate choice, we suggest that headquarters functional language is determined by the MNC's international strategy, organizational structure, and transnationality, while subunit functional language is designed in accordance with organizational form, strategic role, and expatriate deployment. Aligning language systems with organizational strategy and dynamics improves MNC communication, coordination, and knowledge-sharing.",
keywords = "Global strategy, Language design, Multilingual system",
author = "Yadong Luo and Oded Shenkar",
year = "2006",
month = "5",
doi = "10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400197",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "37",
pages = "321--339",
journal = "Journal of International Business Studies",
issn = "0047-2506",
publisher = "Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The multinational corporation as a multilingual community

T2 - Language and organization in a global context

AU - Luo, Yadong

AU - Shenkar, Oded

PY - 2006/5

Y1 - 2006/5

N2 - This paper develops a framework for analyzing the multinational corporation (MNC) as a multilingual community in which parent functional language and subunit functional languages are concurrently used and recursively linked through an intra-corporate communication network. The unit, breadth and intensity of an MNC's language system are designed to apply global strategies within the context of evolving environmental and organizational realities. To the extent that language design is the product of deliberate choice, we suggest that headquarters functional language is determined by the MNC's international strategy, organizational structure, and transnationality, while subunit functional language is designed in accordance with organizational form, strategic role, and expatriate deployment. Aligning language systems with organizational strategy and dynamics improves MNC communication, coordination, and knowledge-sharing.

AB - This paper develops a framework for analyzing the multinational corporation (MNC) as a multilingual community in which parent functional language and subunit functional languages are concurrently used and recursively linked through an intra-corporate communication network. The unit, breadth and intensity of an MNC's language system are designed to apply global strategies within the context of evolving environmental and organizational realities. To the extent that language design is the product of deliberate choice, we suggest that headquarters functional language is determined by the MNC's international strategy, organizational structure, and transnationality, while subunit functional language is designed in accordance with organizational form, strategic role, and expatriate deployment. Aligning language systems with organizational strategy and dynamics improves MNC communication, coordination, and knowledge-sharing.

KW - Global strategy

KW - Language design

KW - Multilingual system

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=33744906774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=33744906774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400197

DO - 10.1057/palgrave.jibs.8400197

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:33744906774

VL - 37

SP - 321

EP - 339

JO - Journal of International Business Studies

JF - Journal of International Business Studies

SN - 0047-2506

IS - 3

ER -