Language in multilingual organizations: power, policies and politics
MetadataShow full item record
This book chapter offers a review of existing literature on the topic of power struggles around language use in multilingual organizations. Theories and empirical evidence from language-sensitive research in international business and management are analyzed in order to present an overview of main insights regarding the power of language. The chapter starts by examining the importance of language choices with reference to e.g. linguistic capital (Bourdieu, 1991). Potential misuse of language is discussed next, including a brief overview of research on language nodes and knowledge transfer (Marschan-Piekkari, Welch & Welch, 1999). The chapter then examines previous empirical studies on the relationship between language policies and language practices in organizational contexts, focusing in particular on discrepancies between de jure and de facto language policies. The final section discusses the ways in which individual language practices and macro level politics concerning language use are tightly linked and interconnected.