Making sense of language management in Danish international companies: A strategic view

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Abstract

The chapter first explores the concept of strategy and considers how insights from the field of strategic management might inform approaches to language management. Then conceptual insights from the strategy as practice approach together with organizational sensemaking, are applied to the analysis of interview data gathered from the head offices of two Danish multinationals. Both these companies had introduced English as a corporate language during the first decade of the 21st century. The argument is that understanding strategy as the activity of strategizing can contribute to corporate language management by making relevant a greater range of actors to strategic processes, and incorporating production of, and reception to, strategy within strategic practices. In particular, the concept of strategic ambiguity, which relates to ambiguity concerning the communication of goals, seems useful in relation to English as a corporate language as this provokes strategic sensemaking on the part of organizational members. It is within these sensemaking practices that language management ultimately gets articulated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnglish in Business and Commerce. Interactions and Policies; : English in Europe Volume 5
EditorsTamah Sherman, Jiri Nekvapil
PublisherDe Gruyter
Publication dateMay 2018
Pages119-148
ISBN (Print)978-1-5015-1553-8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5015-0683-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
SeriesLanguage and Social Life
Volume14
ISSN2364-4303

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