Quotation Aichhorn, Nathalie, Puck, Jonas. 2017. "I just don't feel comfortable speaking English": Foreign language anxiety as a catalyst for spoken-language barriers in MNCs. International Business Review 26 (4), 749-763.


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Abstract

Over the last two decades, the impact of language standardization in MNCs has attracted considerable research attention. However, although the current IB literature strongly suggests that the introduction of English can cause a significant barrier, we still have not fully understood the micro-foundations of such barriers. We conducted an inductive study and interpret our findings using an interdisciplinary approach drawing from both IB related research as well as research from the field of linguistics and language studies. We propose that a major challenge for MNC employees is the foreign language anxiety they typically experience in a non-native language. It is manifest in communication avoidance and withdrawal, as well as code-switching. Our findings indicate that such communicative behaviors can have a considerable impact on interpersonal communication, affecting both the content and relationship dimension. Our study contributes to emerging research on the role of anxiety-related factors as micro-foundations of language barriers and provides a so far rather neglected starting point for firms to reduce the language barrier in corporations.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal International Business Review
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title "I just don't feel comfortable speaking English": Foreign language anxiety as a catalyst for spoken-language barriers in MNCs
Volume 26
Number 4
Year 2017
Page from 749
Page to 763
Reviewed? Y
URL https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0969593117300434
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibusrev.2017.01.004

Associations

People
Aichhorn, Nathalie (Former researcher)
Puck, Jonas (Details)
Organization
International Business (Details)
Institute for International Business IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5300 Economics (Details)
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