European Journal of Language Policy

The interaction of language schools and multinational companies in the management of multilingual practices

European Journal of Language Policy (2010), 2, (2), 229–249.

Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which two types of organisations – multinational companies and language schools – cooperate with one another. At first glance, there is a clear unidirectional relationship: the presence of multinational companies in a given region or country often creates demand for the services of language schools, as employees in the given companies may need to learn either the local language, the language of the company, or the language spoken with clientele. These facts encompass an extensive network of social practices aimed at ensuring the most efficient as well as effective utilisation of financial resources and knowledge. In this paper, using Language Management Theory (Jernudd and Neustupný 1987), we will examine the practices of organised language management that occur in the interaction between these two types of organisations and the way in which each type of organisation legitimises and explains its business with the other. Based, above all, on semi-structured interviews, these phenomena are described and compared in three countries: the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Hungary. Focus is placed upon the changing economic climate in these countries and the acts of language management that are undertaken in response.

Cet article explore la façon dont deux types d'organisations – des compagnies multinationales et des écoles de langues – coopèrent l'un avec l'autre. D'une part, il existe une relation clairement unidirectionnelle: la présence de compagnies multinationales dans une région ou un pays donnés crée souvent une demande pour les services proposés par les écoles de langues, dans la mesure où les employés desdites compagnies peuvent éprouver le besoin d'apprendre soit la langue locale, soit la langue de la compagnie, soit enfin la langue parlée avec les clients. Ces faits incluent un réseau extensif de pratiques sociales dont le but est d'assurer une utilisation efficace et effective des connaissances et des ressources financières. Dans cet article, nous nous baserons sur la théorie de la gestion linguistique (Jernudd and Neustupný 1987) afin d'examiner les pratiques de gestion linguistique organisée qui résultent de l'interaction entre ces deux types d'organisations, ainsi que les méthodes utilisées par chacun afin de légitimiser et d'expliquer ses relations commerciales avec l'autre. On s'appuiera principalement sur des entretiens semi structurés afin de décrire et de comparer ces phénomènes dans trois pays: la République Tchèque, le Royaume-Uni et la Hongrie. On placera l'emphase sur les changements dans le climat économique de ces trois pays, et les stratégies de gestion linguistique mises en place en réponse à ces changements.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Ammon, U., J. Darquennes and S. Wright (eds.) (2009). Sociolinguistica. Band 23: Sprachwahl in Europäischen Unternehmen /Language Choice in European Companies/Choix linguistiques dans les entreprises en Europe (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Braczyk, H-J., P. Cooke and M. Heidenreich (1998). Regional Innovation Systems (London: UCL Press). Regional Innovation Systems Google Scholar

ELAN (2007). Effects on the European Union Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise (London: CILT, The National Centre for Languages). Google Scholar

Jernudd, B. H., and J. V. Neustupný (1987). 'Language Planning: For Whom?', in L. Laforge (ed.), Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Language Planning (Québec: Les Presses de L'Université Laval), pp. 69–84. Language Planning: For Whom? Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Language Planning 69 84 Google Scholar

Nekula, M., J. Nekvapil and K. Šichová (2005). 'Sprachen in deutsch-tschechischen, österreichisch-tschechischen und schweizerisch-tschechischen Unternehmen: Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftskommunikation in der Tschechischen Republik', Sociolinguistica, 19: 128–143. Sprachen in deutsch-tschechischen, österreichisch-tschechischen und schweizerisch-tschechischen Unternehmen: Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftskommunikation in der Tschechischen Republik Sociolinguistica 19 128 143 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J. (1997a). 'Die kommunikative Überwindung der tschechisch-deutschen ethnischen Polarisation. Deutsche, deutsche Kollegen, Expatriates und andere soziale Kategorien im Automobilwerk Škoda', in S. Höhne and M. Nekula (eds.), Sprache, Wirtschaft, Kultur. Deutsche und Tschechen in Interaktion (München: Iudicium), pp. 127–144. Die kommunikative Überwindung der tschechisch-deutschen ethnischen Polarisation. Deutsche, deutsche Kollegen, Expatriates und andere soziale Kategorien im Automobilwerk Škoda Sprache, Wirtschaft, Kultur. Deutsche und Tschechen in Interaktion 127 144 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., (1997b). 'O komunikačním překonávání česko-německé etnické polarizace', in Přednášky z XL. běhu LŠSS (Praha: Univerzita Karlova), pp. 43–57. Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., (forthcoming). 'Hlavní výzvy pro češtinu jako středně velký jazyk na začátku 21. Století', in Přednášky z 53. běhu Letní školy slovanských studií (Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Filozofická fakulta). Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and M. Nekula (2006). 'On Language Management in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic', Current Issues in Language Planning 7: 307–327. On Language Management in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic Current Issues in Language Planning 7 307 327 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman (2009a). 'Czech, German and English: Finding their Place in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic', in J. Carl and P. Stevenson (eds.), Language, Discourse and Identity in Central Europe (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Mac-Millan). Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman, (2009b). 'Pre-Interaction Management in Multinational Companies in Central Europe', Current Issues in Language Planning 10: 181–198. Pre-Interaction Management in Multinational Companies in Central Europe Current Issues in Language Planning 10 181 198 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman, (2009c). Language Management in Contact Situations. Perspectives from Three Continents (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang). Language Management in Contact Situations. Perspectives from Three Continents Google Scholar

Neustupný, J. V. (2002). 'Sociolingvistika a jazykový management' ['Sociolinguistics and language management']. Sociologický čsopis/Czech Sociological Review, 38.4: 429–442. Sociolingvistika a jazykový management' ['Sociolinguistics and language management'] Sociologický čsopis/Czech Sociological Review 38 429 442 Google Scholar

Sherman, T., O. Engelhardt and J. Nekvapil (forthcoming). 'Language Use in Multinational Companies in Europe: A Theoretical and Methodological Reframing', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.), Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First Findings of LINEE (Berlin: De Gruyter). Google Scholar

Vaara, E., J. Tienari, R. Piekkari and R. Säntti (2005). 'Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation', Journal of Management Studies 42.3: 595–623. Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation Journal of Management Studies 42 595 623 Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2006). 'Regional Innovation Systems and Communities of Practice: Two Themes in Search of Knowledge', Sociolinguistica 19: 168–184. Regional Innovation Systems and Communities of Practice: Two Themes in Search of Knowledge Sociolinguistica 19 168 184 Google Scholar

Ammon, U., J. Darquennes and S. Wright (eds.) (2009). Sociolinguistica. Band 23: Sprachwahl in Europäischen Unternehmen /Language Choice in European Companies/Choix linguistiques dans les entreprises en Europe (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter). Google Scholar

Braczyk, H-J., P. Cooke and M. Heidenreich (1998). Regional Innovation Systems (London: UCL Press). Regional Innovation Systems Google Scholar

ELAN (2007). Effects on the European Union Economy of Shortages of Foreign Language Skills in Enterprise (London: CILT, The National Centre for Languages). Google Scholar

Jernudd, B. H., and J. V. Neustupný (1987). 'Language Planning: For Whom?', in L. Laforge (ed.), Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Language Planning (Québec: Les Presses de L'Université Laval), pp. 69–84. Language Planning: For Whom? Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Language Planning 69 84 Google Scholar

Nekula, M., J. Nekvapil and K. Šichová (2005). 'Sprachen in deutsch-tschechischen, österreichisch-tschechischen und schweizerisch-tschechischen Unternehmen: Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftskommunikation in der Tschechischen Republik', Sociolinguistica, 19: 128–143. Sprachen in deutsch-tschechischen, österreichisch-tschechischen und schweizerisch-tschechischen Unternehmen: Ein Beitrag zur Wirtschaftskommunikation in der Tschechischen Republik Sociolinguistica 19 128 143 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J. (1997a). 'Die kommunikative Überwindung der tschechisch-deutschen ethnischen Polarisation. Deutsche, deutsche Kollegen, Expatriates und andere soziale Kategorien im Automobilwerk Škoda', in S. Höhne and M. Nekula (eds.), Sprache, Wirtschaft, Kultur. Deutsche und Tschechen in Interaktion (München: Iudicium), pp. 127–144. Die kommunikative Überwindung der tschechisch-deutschen ethnischen Polarisation. Deutsche, deutsche Kollegen, Expatriates und andere soziale Kategorien im Automobilwerk Škoda Sprache, Wirtschaft, Kultur. Deutsche und Tschechen in Interaktion 127 144 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., (1997b). 'O komunikačním překonávání česko-německé etnické polarizace', in Přednášky z XL. běhu LŠSS (Praha: Univerzita Karlova), pp. 43–57. Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., (forthcoming). 'Hlavní výzvy pro češtinu jako středně velký jazyk na začátku 21. Století', in Přednášky z 53. běhu Letní školy slovanských studií (Praha: Univerzita Karlova v Praze, Filozofická fakulta). Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and M. Nekula (2006). 'On Language Management in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic', Current Issues in Language Planning 7: 307–327. On Language Management in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic Current Issues in Language Planning 7 307 327 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman (2009a). 'Czech, German and English: Finding their Place in Multinational Companies in the Czech Republic', in J. Carl and P. Stevenson (eds.), Language, Discourse and Identity in Central Europe (Houndmills, Basingstoke: Palgrave Mac-Millan). Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman, (2009b). 'Pre-Interaction Management in Multinational Companies in Central Europe', Current Issues in Language Planning 10: 181–198. Pre-Interaction Management in Multinational Companies in Central Europe Current Issues in Language Planning 10 181 198 Google Scholar

Nekvapil, J., and T. Sherman, (2009c). Language Management in Contact Situations. Perspectives from Three Continents (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang). Language Management in Contact Situations. Perspectives from Three Continents Google Scholar

Neustupný, J. V. (2002). 'Sociolingvistika a jazykový management' ['Sociolinguistics and language management']. Sociologický čsopis/Czech Sociological Review, 38.4: 429–442. Sociolingvistika a jazykový management' ['Sociolinguistics and language management'] Sociologický čsopis/Czech Sociological Review 38 429 442 Google Scholar

Sherman, T., O. Engelhardt and J. Nekvapil (forthcoming). 'Language Use in Multinational Companies in Europe: A Theoretical and Methodological Reframing', in P. Studer and I. Werlen (eds.), Linguistic Diversity in the European Union: First Findings of LINEE (Berlin: De Gruyter). Google Scholar

Vaara, E., J. Tienari, R. Piekkari and R. Säntti (2005). 'Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation', Journal of Management Studies 42.3: 595–623. Language and the Circuits of Power in a Merging Multinational Corporation Journal of Management Studies 42 595 623 Google Scholar

Williams, G. (2006). 'Regional Innovation Systems and Communities of Practice: Two Themes in Search of Knowledge', Sociolinguistica 19: 168–184. Regional Innovation Systems and Communities of Practice: Two Themes in Search of Knowledge Sociolinguistica 19 168 184 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Sherman, Tamah

Carl, Jenny

Engelhardt, Oliver

Balogh, Erzsébet

Balla, Ágnes

Sherman, Tamah

Carl, Jenny

Engelhardt, Oliver

Balogh, Erzsébet

Balla, Ágnes