Mutual understanding and cross‐border synergy in international organizations largely depend on the efficiency of the language(s) used between employees in home and foreign markets. This study aims to provide insights in how language(s) can be applied efficiently in international companies.
The study reports on a cross‐cultural employee survey that was conducted in a Dutch international company intending to improve internal communications between Dutch‐based and German‐based employees.
The study shows that although English is a popular language in internal contacts with foreign colleagues, it is not perceived to be equally effective across borders. The results indicate that language background affects experiences with passive as well as active language skills. This suggests that an English language policy can be feasible, but that promotion and facilitation of language use is needed for specific language groups.
The study indicates that quantitative academic research can help international companies in formulating a relevant corporate language policy tailored to the needs of the organization.
The study uses insights from existing qualitative studies on corporate language in established multinationals to create a quantitative research instrument employed within a company with a relatively young internationalization strategy. As such, it contributes to substantiating previous research findings.
Bouchien de Groot, E. (2012), "Personal preference or policy? Language choice in a European‐based international organization", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 255-271. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281211253511Download as .RIS
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