Embrace it or Resist it?

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Embrace it or Resist it?

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Title: Embrace it or Resist it?
Employees’ Reception of Corporate Language Policies
Author: Lønsmann, Dorte
Abstract: Corporate language policies and particularly the use of English as a corporate language have been studied in MNCs for almost two decades now. Despite these volumes of research, very little has been written about the implementation of new language policies. Few studies have examined resistance to or the process of implementing a corporate language, and even fewer have investigated the employee perspective empirically. The present study uses observational and focus group data to investigate reactions to a new corporate language policy in one Danish MNC. The study draws on sociolinguistic stancetaking theory and ethnographic methods and seeks to understand what contextual factors influence employees’ stances towards the introduction of English as a corporate language. English language competence, the local linguistic context and different temporal perspectives are found to be key factors. The paper aims to bring the fields of language in international business and linguistic anthropology together in a study of the barriers experienced in companies implementing a new language policy. The paper contributes to the field of language in international business by exploring when and why corporate language policies encounter resistance. As such the results will shed light on the implementation phase of language policy-making.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/9208
Date: 2015-11-06
Notes: Paper presented at 9th GEM&L International Workshop on Management and Language, Helsinki, Finland, 12 June 2015.

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