Multilingual organizations as ‘linguascapes’: Negotiating the position of English through discursive practices

Steyaert, Chris; Ostendorp, Anja; Gaibrois, Claudine
July 2011
Journal of World Business;Jul2011, Vol. 46 Issue 3, p270
Academic Journal
Abstract: To address the complexity of multilingual communication, this paper applies a discursive approach to analyze how people account for the ways that specific languages are used in multilingual companies. Through our discourse analysis, we identify six different ways of accounting for language use. Further, we map the various tensions between these accounts through which we can understand how the rise of English alters the discursive negotiation in two different organizational contexts. Inspired by Appadurai''s understanding of “globalization from below”, we suggest the term linguascape to conceptualize how the flow of languages that cross a specific organizational space is discursively mediated.


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