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Language management in the UK: strategies for dealing with foreign language encounters in the financial sector

Fischer, Mary


Mary Fischer


Much of the current research into language management in multinational companies (MNCs) focuses on the issues faced by non-native English speakers. This pilot study attempts to broaden the debate by addressing on the attitudes to language use in international business of native English speakers. It is based on interviews conducted with managers from four different investment management companies headquartered in the UK. It establishes that managers believe that the use of English alone is sufficient to conduct business successfully internationally. These assertions are contradicted by their frequent descriptions of how the use of the local language is an essential factor in the success of key aspects of their work. The study concludes that these contradictory findings reflect British businesses’ unwillingness to engage actively with issues of language use, and that knowledge of a foreign language is not perceived as a valuable part of an English mother-tongue professional’s skills portfolio.

Working Paper Type Working Paper
Deposit Date Oct 9, 2013
Publisher SAGE Publications
Keywords Language management; multinational companies; international business; native English speakers
Public URL
Contract Date Oct 9, 2013