Standardization and contextualization: A study of language and leadership across 17 countries

Lena Zander*, Audra I. Mockaitis, Anne-Wil Harzing, Joyce Baldueza, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Anne Canabal, Anabella Davila, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Fernandes Ferreira, Axele Giroud, Kathrin Koester, Yung-Kuei Liang, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Joseph O. T. Odusanya, Sharon Leiba O'Sullivan, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Srabani Roy ChoudhuryAyse Saka-Helmhout, Sununta Siengthai, Ayda Uzuncarsili Soydas, Linda Viswat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

With multinational corporations increasingly adopting English as a corporate language, the issue of language management and the pros and cons of language standardization have been widely debated in the literature. Our 17-country study considers whether the use of English as a common corporate language causes difficulties. We empirically examine whether managerial reactions to specific leadership scenario-based situations change as a consequence of the language they use. Our results show that the choice of language (native or English) does not matter much for the studied leadership scenarios. Instead, leadership decisions and reactions depend more on cultural and situational context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)296-304
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of World Business
Volume46
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Language
  • Leadership
  • Context
  • Culture
  • Multinational company
  • Cultural accommodation
  • ATTITUDE SCALE TRANSLATIONS
  • CULTURAL ACCOMMODATION
  • CHINESE BILINGUALS
  • ETHNIC AFFIRMATION
  • CROSS-LANGUAGE
  • HONG-KONG
  • COMPANIES
  • RESPONSES
  • VALUES

Cite this

Zander, L., Mockaitis, A. I., Harzing, A-W., Baldueza, J., Barner-Rasmussen, W., Barzantny, C., Canabal, A., Davila, A., Espejo, A., Fernandes Ferreira, R., Giroud, A., Koester, K., Liang, Y-K., Morley, M. J., Myloni, B., Odusanya, J. O. T., O'Sullivan, S. L., Palaniappan, A. K., Prochno, P., ... Viswat, L. (2011). Standardization and contextualization: A study of language and leadership across 17 countries. Journal of World Business, 46(3), 296-304. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2010.07.009