Developing a nuanced understanding of foreign language competence in MNCs Event as iCalendar

(Management and International Business)

19 November 2018

1:30 - 2:30pm

Venue: The University of Auckland Business School, Level 0, Room 040B, 12 Grafton Road, Auckland, 1010

Presenter: Professor Martyna Śliwa, The University of Essex

Since Marschan, Welch and Welch (1997: 591) first described language as ‘the forgotten factor in multinational management’, scholars in the fields of International Business (IB) and International Management (IM), have started to unpack the crucial and multifaceted role of language in ‘constituting, enabling and, in some cases, debilitating MNC networks’ (Brannen, Piekkari and Tietze, 2014: 497). Taken together, this fast-developing body of work has compellingly demonstrated the far-reaching and pervasive effects of language on international business. 

This notwithstanding, there is very little problematisation in the IB/IM literature of what actually constitutes foreign language proficiency. In this paper, we draw on scholarship from different strands of linguistics to introduce a nuanced, dynamic and relational conceptualisation of linguistic competence as dependent on both language-related and non-linguistic factors. Empirically, we demonstrate the suitability and application of the proposed understanding of foreign language competence on the basis of findings from a multi-case study research conducted in the subsidiaries of multinational corporations (MNCs) located in six countries.

Martyna Śliwa is Professor of Management and Organisation Studies at Essex Business School, University of Essex. Her research interests span across International Business and Management and Organisation Studies. At present, she is involved in research projects focusing on multilinguality and linguistic diversity in multinational corporations; gendered inclusion in workplace organisations; and leadership and management in non-western contexts. Martyna’s research has been published in a range of international journals, including the British Journal of Management; Gender, Work and Organization; Journal of International Business Studies; Management Learning and Organization. She is a co-author (with Prof. George Cairns) of the popular A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about International Business (Sage, 2008 and 2017). Until August 2018, Martyna served as Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education at the University of Essex. She is currently an Associate Editor of the British Journal of Management and Management Learning. She is also a member of the Council as well as the Research and Publications Committee of the British Academy of Management.

For more information contact:
Janine Swail
Ext. 87839