Language choice as a potential source of Intercultural discord in English-Mandarin business encounters.
Until recently Anglophone business research into the issues surrounding the costs of and barriers to internationalisation has focused on cultural barriers and their potential for conflict and misunderstanding. Most of this research assumes that, as English is the international language of business, language itself is not an issue and that communication problems are situated in underlying cultural assumptions. This paper surveys recent research on issues relating to the use of a lingua franca, normally English, in intercultural business dealings, and in communication and conflict management, and relates it to a pilot study of five Chinese business people who use English in their daily business transactions. The results confirm that the choice of language itself has considerable potential for causing conflict, and raises interlinked issues of face, harmony, hierarchy, directness and power. Furthermore, the Chinese preference for conflict avoidance and indirectness means that many of these conflicts may be hidden from the English speaking interlocutors. This has implications for monolingual English speaking businesses in their future dealings with Chinese counterparts. It also contributes to identifying potential underlying sources of conflict in these interactions.
Fischer, M. (2013). Language choice as a potential source of Intercultural discord in English-Mandarin business encounters. China media research, 9, 45
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Deposit Date||Sep 20, 2013|
|Publicly Available Date||Dec 31, 2013|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
|Keywords||Language management; conflict management; intercultural communication; English as lingua franca;|
Language Choice As A Potential Source Of Intercultural Discord In English-Mandarin Business Encounters
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