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Language: the sharpest tool in the business strategy toolbox

Guro Refsum Sanden (Department of International Business Communication, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 1 August 2016




The purpose of this paper is to analyse the consequences of globalisation in the area of corporate communication, and investigate how language may be managed as a strategic resource.


A review of previous studies on the effects of globalisation on corporate communication and the implications of language management initiatives in international business.


Efficient language management can turn language into a strategic resource. Language needs analyses, i.e. linguistic auditing/language check-ups, can be used to determine the language situation of a company. Language policies and/or strategies can be used to regulate a company’s internal modes of communication. Language management tools can be deployed to address existing and expected language needs. Continuous feedback from the front line ensures strategic learning and reduces the risk of suboptimal outcomes.


Offers a review of the relevant literature and provides a simple four-step model to make language a more important priority on the corporate agenda.



Sanden, G.R. (2016), "Language: the sharpest tool in the business strategy toolbox", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 21 No. 3, pp. 274-288.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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