Well said, well done. Language as a source of power in multinational teams
ABSTRACT As Multinational Corporations (MNCs) extend their span across the globe, a natural strategic consequence in managing a multilingual landscape has been the introduction of a lingua franca, in the form of a common corporate language. Language in international business (IB) studies have indicated that language proficiency can constitute a source of power in MNCs, that potentially distort working relations and thus affects cooperation. This study aims to further investigate how language proficiency can empower and/or disempower people in multinational teams (MNTs), a setting that has as of yet not received much attention in this regard. A case study approach has been adopted for this study based on 22 semi-structured interviews and observations conducted in Sweden and the US. The results indeed illustrate that language proficiency can be empowering or disempowering in several respects due to that language is inherently embedded in all work activities. The findings also show that this has an impact on team dynamics and team functioning, which is essential to address due to the increasing importance of MNTs for the performance of MNCs.
international business (IB)
multinational corporations (MNCs)
multinational teams (MNTs)
Master Degree Project