European J. of International Management (55 papers in press)
Born-again globals: generational change dynamics and family business internationalisation
by Philipp Stieg, Sascha Kraus, Martin Hiebl, Felix Schüssler, Sven Sattler
Abstract: Research on family business internationalisation has so far mainly adopted stepwise models of internationalisation. However, there is recent evidence that family businesses may also adopt more rapid internationalisation pathways, such as the born-again global pathway. Generational change has been found to be a prime trigger for this pathway, but existing findings on this relationship are limited to a small amount of case-based evidence. We therefore aim to deepen knowledge on the conditions under which generational change can trigger born-again global internationalisation pathways of family businesses. Based on a multiple-case study of 20 born-again global family businesses from German-speaking countries, we derive a total of three propositions. Our findings suggest that succeeding generations internationalise their firms due to their long-term orientation. We also find that succession is more likely to trigger a family businesses born-again global internationalisation pathway if the succeeding generation has a higher level of education than the preceding generation, has international experience and seeks self-actualisation.
Keywords: born-again global, family business, internationalisation, generational change, succession, multiple-case study
The impact of board struture on CSR practices at the international sphere
by Beatriz Cuadrado-Ballesteros, Isabel-Maria Garcia-Sanchez, Jennifer Martínez-Ferrero
Abstract: This research was aimed to highlight the relationship between several aspects of the board of directors and the level of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. We used a sample of 1043 international non-financial companies for the period 20032009. The empirical evidence obtained shows an inverted U-shaped relation between the board size and CSR practices, specifically in the case of outside directors. A higher number of outside directors is related to more CSR practices; however, when the number of directors is excessively high, CSR practices are less common. In addition, more diversity on the board is positively associated with economic, social and environmental practices. Theoretically, the study extends the current theory by demonstrating that board diversity has a positive relationship with the strength ratings for CSR. Based on our results, there is a critical number of outside and inside directors that ensures that interests beyond those of the shareholders are considered.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; sustainability; corporate governance; board of directors; independence; diversity; empirical research; panel data.
Embracing a new perspective on the governance of family business groups: a cross-cultural perspective
by Alessandra Vecchi, Bice Della Piana, Alfredo Jimenez
Abstract: Family business groups (FBG) are a significant and long-standing phenomenon widespread around the world. Their governance mechanisms have previously been investigated at firm-level and country-level. However, little attention has been paid at cluster-level of analysis by considering the differences in national culture. Based on a sample of 118 publications, this article provides a systematic literature review on the FBGs governance mechanisms by taking a broad perspective in the selection process of the publications. There is evidence from the findings that supports the idea of variations of the governance mechanisms between different cultural clusters. Additionally, core aspects related to the resilience of these mechanisms within the cultural clusters are identified. Our research provides support to the argument that governance mechanisms across countries tend to be culturally embedded and cluster-dependent.
Keywords: family business group, governance, cross-cultural perspective, GLOBE, cultural cluster.
How agents, resources and capabilities mediate the effect of corporate entrepreneurship on multinational firms performance
by Marta Peris-Ortiz, Joao J. Ferreira, Cristina I. Fernandes
Abstract: This study establishes a broad theoretical framework combining agency theory and resource and capacity theory. We sought evidence of these theories implications for corporate entrepreneurship (CE) and an understanding of how CE affects performance. To identify relationships between these theories and concepts, we designed a research model and tested it using data from a questionnaire to 114 multinational firms. Findings provide general support for this theory, indicating that CE is positively associated with principal management-based incentives and capabilities on performance.
Keywords: agency theory; resource and capacity theory; corporate entrepreneurship; performance; multinationals
Social capital and the identification of valuable knowledge for knowledge acquisition: a case study
by Beatriz Ortiz, Mario Javier Donate, Fátima Guadamillas
Abstract: Immunostep is a biotechnological company that has developed an external knowledge acquisition strategy based on the use of its social capital and its capability to recognise and assimilate valuable new knowledge for the improvement of its innovation capabilities. The main advantages that social capital management provide to this company are: (1) the development of strong and close ties with other firms and institutions for the purposes of knowledge exchange (development of structural social capital); (2) the achievement of a high reliability in its business relationships (development of relational social capital); and (3) the establishment of compatible objectives and shared cultural values with a number of external agents (development of cognitive social capital). In turn, this case study shows that the way social capital is strategically managed by a firm is an essential aspect for the successful development of knowledge acquisition. Moreover, the success of the integration and use of the knowledge acquired depends strongly on the firms capability to correctly identify, assess, and anticipate the potential value of such external knowledge.
Keywords: social capital; knowledge identification; knowledge acquisition; absorptive capacity; case study; Immunostep; Spain.
An empirical study of food and beverage chains internationalisation: advancing intangible resource theory and research
by Tsui-Yii Shih
Abstract: This study aims to identify important intangible resource dimensions and examines their effects on the degrees of internationalisation and performance of food and beverage chains. International food and beverage chains in Taiwans market serve as the target sample, and managers perceptions are examined to verify the research content. A second-order PLS method is adopted in order to analyse the conceptual framework. The findings of the study indicate that reputation, technology and organisational culture play significant roles in firms internationalisation. Further, technology has little effect, but reputation and organisational culture both have a positive and significant impact on F&B chains performance. Advanced descriptions of practical situations, theoretical contributions and managerial implications are provided by this study in order to further the academic research on the food and beverage industry and help chains that plan to internationalise and improve their performance.
Keywords: partial least squares, resource-based view, sustainable competitive advantage, reputation, organisational culture
Demonstration effect of MNCs on the building up of CSR practices in China
by Xiaoting Wang, Shengxiao Li, Huafeng Wang
Abstract: The literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in China has examined the CSR strategies of multinational corporations (MNCs) and the CSR adoption of Chinese firms. However, the connections in the CSR behaviours between these two groups of firms remain relatively unexplored. To understand further the evolution of CSR in China, we conceptualise that the demonstration effect of the CSR behaviours of MNCs has an important role in the CSR adoption of Chinese firms. We propose that the promotion-based CSR activities of MNCs significantly affect the involvement of Chinese firms in CSR practices, and that such a demonstration effect is reinforced by institutional cause, constituents, content, control, and context.
Keywords: demonstration effect; CSR; multinational corporation; institutional isomorphism
Export performance in Spanish wineries: the role of human capital and quality management system
by Jose Lopez-Rodriguez, Domingo Calvo Dopico, Angel María Del Castillo Puente
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to research the effect of human capital and Quality Management System (QMS) on the export performance of wine firms. The empirical analysis is carried out using data from a sample of Spanish wineries and performing Tobit regression models. In relation to human capital, the results show that only the specific human capital is associated with superior export performance of wineries, whereas the general human capital, although it has a positive coefficient, it is not statistically significant on the export performance of wine firms. The results related to the QMS show that those wine firms certified with the ISO 9000 standard of QMS have better export performance.
Keywords: Galician wineries; international business training; QMS ISO 9000; resource-based view; Tobit models
Associations in transition: the business of Russian civil society
by Ekaterina Ivanova, Marco Maier, Michael Meyer
Abstract: What characteristics of professional and business associations determine their organisational activities in the context of Russias stage of transition? While research on associations in management and non-profit literature remains undertheorised and fragmented, professional and business associations not only constitute a significant component of the Russian nonprofit sector, but also contribute to the institutional infrastructure of the emerging market economy. This paper investigates the influence of organisational determinants on the relative importance of advocacy, community building, and service delivery within professional and business associations. Data for this study were collected from 215 associations throughout Russia. The study verifies multifunctional nature of associations and confirms that advocacy remains the highest priority activity for associations embedded in the transitional environment. Applying the Dirichlet regression, the study finds that organisational size and a specific agency type positively influence community building function. Moreover, our findings indicate that compulsory membership negatively affects service delivery and community building functions, whereas presence in social media has a positive effect on both of these functions fulfilled by Russian associations.
Keywords: multi-functionality; professional and business associations; compositional data; Dirichlet regression; Russia
Knowledge sharing in multilingual organisations: influence of code switching and convergence
by Farhan Ahmad, Gunilla Widen
Abstract: Individual-level knowledge sharing is an important collaborative activity that is critical for organisational performance. As multilingual workplaces are becoming common, it has become increasingly important to understand the impact of language on knowledge sharing. Although previous research on knowledge management acknowledges the influence of language on knowledge sharing, the language use (practices) that actually conditions this effect remains largely unexamined. In this paper, we introduce two types of language practices known as code switching and convergence in sociolinguistics. By using insights on language from sociolinguistics, we attempt to show how code switching and convergence by organisational employees may influence individual-level knowledge sharing in multilingual organisations. We also suggest some new research directions for language and knowledge sharing in both theoretical and methodological terms. Understanding the influence of code switching and convergence on knowledge sharing is one step toward a better understanding of knowledge sharing as a whole in multilingual organisations. It would enhance the odds of developing knowledge management strategies that may neutralise or at least limit the negative influence of language diversity on knowledge sharing.
Keywords: knowledge sharing; language diversity; sociolinguistics; multilingual organisations; multinational organisations
Dissecting the sources of competitive advantage of infant MNEs: performance antecedents of foreign affiliates of Polish firms
by Piotr Trapczynski
Abstract: This paper draws from the resource-based view, organisational learning perspective and institution-based view of international business to explore the effects of firm capabilities and international experience on the performance of foreign affiliates of infant MNEs. In doing so, it aims to contribute to the debate on the competitive advantage of firms from less advanced economies which have only recently joined international business transactions. Moreover, the analysis includes the moderating effect of institutional differences, i.e. both more and less institutionally advanced host countries. The analysis reveals that managerial capabilities are more relevant to success in more advanced economies than in less advanced ones where non-market strategies are frequently the source of advantage of infant MNEs. Moreover, in more advanced markets overall FDI experience is essential to successfully starting up operations, to a larger extent than in less developed countries. An opposite effect can be observed for prior experience with similar countries.
Keywords: FDI, foreign affiliates, performance, infant MNEs, resource-based view, organisational learning theory, institutional theory, Central and Eastern Europe, firm capabilities, international experience, institutional difference
Not trading favours: MNE activity in economies shaped by institutional voids
by Michael-Jörg Oesterle, Björn Röber
Abstract: When advanced market MNEs (AMNEs) consider operating in developing and emerging economies, they will frequently face the challenge of how they should cope with informal business practices. The respective firms are often trapped in a conflict area between business ethicist and neo-institutionalist requirements. According to the first perspective, they must comply with Western ethical standards and stay away from potentially compromising informal business practices. From a neo-institutionalist point of view, however, AMNEs should adapt their managerial practices to the realities in developing and emerging economies. In this paper, we present indicators showing that AMNEs respond with market avoidance to this conflict area. Therefore, we try to open a discussion on whether the current assessment of informal business practices in institutionally developed countries is adequate. Beneficial informal business practices such as trading favours may present a legitimate third way between business ethics and neo-institutionalism as they have the potential to fill institutional voids.
Keywords: institutions in developing and emerging economies; institutional voids; informal business practices; trading favours
An empirical study of the link between corporate social responsibility and innovation in environmentally sensitive industries
by M.Isabel González-Ramos, Mario J. Donate, Fátima Guadamillas
Abstract: Managers perceptions on the evolution of a companys environment can have important implications for strategic decisions on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and innovation, especially in industries which are sensitive to social and environmental issues. This paper follows knowledge-based and stakeholder management perspectives to state that in such industries high levels of environmental dynamism will motivate firms to engage in CSR activities to support proactive innovation strategies for faster development of new technologies. We use a sample of 86 Spanish and Portuguese firms from the renewable energy sector to test a structural equations model of relationships between environmental dynamism, innovation strategy and CSR through a partial least squares statistical approach. The results of the study suggest that highly dynamic environments encourage firms to be more innovation proactive, and that this proactivity relates to a high CSR commitment, with process innovation capabilities being preferred as a technological source for firms in this sector.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; environmental dynamism; innovation capabilities; innovative posture; Spain; Portugal.
R&D team composition and product innovation: gender diversity makes a difference
by Angela Gonzalez-Moreno, Cristina Diaz-Garcia, Francisco J. Saez-Martinez
Abstract: The literature presents conflicting views on the relationship between gender diversity and performance. Furthermore, to date we know very little about the impact of R&D team gender diversity on innovation. This study aims to fill this gap by drawing on social cognitive theory to underscore the importance of considering contextual factors when observing the relationship between gender diversity and innovation. In this paper, we investigate how innovation in R&D teams is fostered by a combination of the specific context of R&D tasks and the participation of mixed gender teams. Specifically, we argue for a U-shaped relationship between team gender diversity and innovation. Drawing on data from 3540 manufacturing firms, our results show that gender diversity in the form of an increase in the proportion of women in an R&D team has a non-linear impact on product innovation, supporting the argument that diversity is a double-edged sword. This finding indicates that gender diversity fosters innovation only to a certain level. That is, moderate levels of gender diversity are more likely to be related to innovation, whereas higher levels of gender diversity (when the team comprises an equal number of men and women) lead to less optimal results. We discuss the implications of these findings for firms aiming to foster innovation in their R&D department, as well as the implications for diversity in R&D teams.
Keywords: gender diversity; researchers; R&D; innovation; context.
The impact of market knowledge on the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises in Slovenia
by Nusa Basle, Polona Tominc, Romana Korez-Vide
Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to test the dependence of internationalisation of SMEs in Slovenia on market knowledge. For this purpose, in the first part of this paper, market knowledge was conceptualised and the importance of institutional support on the internationalisation of SMEs as a source for acquiring market knowledge was examined. In the second part, SMEs in Slovenia were surveyed about the scope and forms of their internationalisation, about the level and the sources of their market knowledge, and about the awareness and the usage of Slovenian and the European Unions institutional incentives in internationalisation. In the third part, the dependence of SMEs internationalisation in Slovenia on their market knowledge, as well as the importance of institutional incentives on SMEs level of internationalisation, were measured by factor analysis and regression models. The study establishes only the limited impact of SMEs market knowledge on their internationalisation and highlights low awareness and usage of Slovenian and the EUs institutional support for the internationalisation of SMEs in Slovenia.
Keywords: internationalisation; small and medium-sized enterprises; market knowledge; institutional support; Slovenia; European Union.
The impact of communist imprint prevalence on the risk-taking propensity of successful Russian entrepreneurs
by Elitsa R. Banalieva, Sheila M. Puffer, Daniel J. McCarthy, Vlad Vaiman
Abstract: Scholars debate whether entrepreneurs socialised under communism exhibit an increased or subdued risk-taking propensity after that experience. Some note that communism discouraged standing out and thus risk-taking, while others counter that communism necessitated risk-taking to survive. We reconcile this debate by differentiating between reformist and hard-line communist imprints. In so doing, we extend communist imprinting theory by introducing the concept of imprint prevalence and studying how the degree to which one type of communist imprint prevailed over the other affects the subsequent risk-taking propensity of successful Russian entrepreneurs. Our findings also have implications for entrepreneurship in other transition and emerging economies.
Keywords: entrepreneurship; Russian entrepreneurs; reformist communism; hard-line communism; risk-taking propensity; communist imprinting theory; imprint prevalence; transition economies.
Entrepreneurial orientation in a hostile and turbulent environment: risk and innovativeness among successful Russian entrepreneurs
by Daniel J. McCarthy, Sheila M. Puffer, Anna Lamin
Abstract: Applying the construct of entrepreneurial orientation (EO) we test the relationship between the dimensions of entrepreneurial risk taking and innovativeness. Risk taking is measured as an entrepreneurial propensity as well as a behaviour. Innovativeness is manifested in decisions for strategic growth, specifically strategies of vertical integration and horizontal diversification. The study context is the turbulent and hostile environment of Russia, focusing on 158 successful entrepreneurs and their firms, and extending the EO construct beyond the more positive set of circumstances as found in developed economies. Results show that both operationalisations of risk are significantly related to firm innovativeness, and are generally counterintuitive to what might be found in a more stable environment of developed economies like the USA and Western Europe.
Keywords: entrepreneurial orientation; integration and diversification strategies; risk-taking propensity; risk-taking behavior; seriality; Russian entrepreneurs; Russia; transition economies.
The effect of local environment on innovation: a comparison of local and foreign firms in China
by Peng-Yu Li, Kuo-Feng Huang, Kai Xu, Chwo-Ming Joseph Yu
Abstract: Innovative activities have become increasingly important to firms in emerging markets, particularly in China in recent years. Facing weak institutional and competitive environments in China, firms building local connections to react and to innovate can hold a better competitive position. Our study investigates how building local connections and local competition may influence a firms innovation and compares the moderating effect of ownership (local vs. foreign firms) on firm innovation in the early 2000s. We conducted a survey for companies in electronic, chemical, and other manufacturing industries in the two industrial zones. Our empirical findings suggest that, in China, local connections are conducive to firm innovations. Compared with local firms, foreign firms tend to have more innovations. However, when facing severe local competition, local firms are engaged in more innovative activities than foreign firms. We suggest the advantages of local connection owned by local companies may surmount that of foreign companies. The foreign companies need to take adopted strategies to success in the fast-changing emerging market. Our research contributes to the fields of industrial competition and firm innovation in emerging markets, particularly in China.
Keywords: local connections; local competition; innovation; emerging markets; China.
Stakeholder pressures, CSR practices, and business outcomes in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands
by Nicola Berg, Dirk Holtbrügge, Carolyn Egri, Olivier Furrer, Knut Sinding, Corinna Dögl
Abstract: This cross-country study investigates the antecedents and outcomes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. Based on institutional theory and stakeholder theory, we conducted an empirical study among 519 firms in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands. We found evidence that supports a significant positive relationship between stakeholder pressures, CSR practices, and business outcomes in the total sample. While our data reveals similarities between the three countries, differences in some areas can be observed as well. Implications for institutional theory and for CSR are derived.
Keywords: institutional theory; stakeholder theory; corporate social responsibility.
The relevance of assurance statements on CSR information to independent directors
by Isabel-María García-Sánchez, Jennifer García-Sánchez And Martínez-Ferrero
Abstract: This paper aims to examine the relationship between board independence and the level of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures and to check whether such a relationship is moderated by the existence of an assurance statement that increases the credibility and reliability of such information. Using an international sample of 780 companies from 2004 to 2010, as well as the GMM estimator methodology for panel data, our evidence supports the idea that independent directors show initial opposition to CSR disclosure practices, owing to concern for their career or reputation, because this reporting could lack credibility. However, the existence of an assurance statement moderates it in the sense that it protects directors from the reputation risks associated with potentially misleading CSR information.
Keywords: CSR report; independent directors; reputation risks; assurance.
Talent identification transparency: an alternative perspective
by Violetta Khoreva, Vlad Vaiman, Edyta Kostanek
Abstract: Over the course of the last decade, talent management has attracted a great deal of attention in the academic literature. Even though the field has evolved, much scepticism continues to surround it, and many questions are still to be answered that may bridge existing gaps between science and practice. This article offers an alternative perspective on talent identification transparency, the practice of informing employees of their talent pool membership. In line with the social exchange perspective, we propose that even though the reactions of those employees who are identified as talent and informed of their talent pool membership seem to be positive, the negative reactions of employees who are either identified as talent and informed of their talent pool membership, and whose expectations are not as well met, or employees who are not identified as talent (which is arguably the majority of the employee population in most companies) may outweigh the positive. This article adds value to the existing research on talent management, promotes a dialogue, and encourages new directions in theoretical and empirical research within the field. We believe that a heightened understanding of the dark side of talent identification transparency may help organisational decision makers in better executing their strategic talent initiatives.
Keywords: talent management; talent identification; talent identification transparency; social exchange perspective; workforce differentiation.
Influence of the individual characteristics and personality traits of the founder on the performance of family SMEs
by Mário Franco, Maria Prata
Abstract: The main aim of this study is to investigate the influence of the individual characteristics and personality traits of the founder on the performance of family SMEs. To achieve this goal, a questionnaire was constructed, covering the socio-demographic (individual) characteristics of the entrepreneur and an individual's personality traits through five dimensions (Big Five): extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism and openness to experience. To measure performance, an already validated scale was also used, including two fundamental dimensions: business and family. 123 questionnaires from family SMEs were validated. Results show that the individual characteristics (age, gender and academic qualifications) of the founder do not influence the performance of family SMEs. As for the personality traits of the founder, only conscientiousness and openness to experience are found to have a positive influence on performance, while neuroticism has a negative influence on performance. Some implications for theory and practice are also presented.
Keywords: founder; personality traits; Big Five; performance; family-owned SMEs.
Firm competencies and exports of SMEs: the critical role of collaborations
by Constantina Kottaridi, Spyros Lioukas
Abstract: This paper examines the export behaviour of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs), shifting the interest to firm competencies and the role of finance. It builds on the resource-based view framework to highlight marketing and technological competencies in the presence of financial constraints, in order to explore in greater depth the exporting decision and exporting performance of SMEs. Results manifest the superiority of marketing competencies related to collaborations, both domestically but mainly abroad. Differentiations between smaller and larger SMEs are investigated. Empirical evidence suggests that SMEs face high sunk costs in order to internationalise, and this is more so for the smaller ones. Implications are discussed.
Keywords: SMEs; competencies; collaborations; RBV.
Organising multilingually: setting an agenda for studying language at work
by Rebecca Piekkari, Jo Angouri
Abstract: This paper brings together International Business (IB) and sociolinguistic research on the use of language in multilingual organisations and organising. We problematise core categories and underlying assumptions that have been widely adopted in this field of research and argue for a holistic and context sensitive approach. Special attention is paid to the notion of national language and the multinational organisation. Scholars have started to argue for new ways of researching language in organisations and to call for more processually oriented categories and meanings, such as organising and languaging. Current core categories such as monolingual/multilingual, small/large and national/multinational often remain static, structural and binary, and hence are not in sync with the fluidity and change of human activity or with the promise of the broader linguistic and discursive turns in social sciences. We argue for multidisciplinary enquiry in this field of research. We propose theoretical and methodological advances and close the paper with a future agenda for studying the dynamics of language in multilingual settings.
Keywords: Multilingual organisation; language use; categories; linguistic turn; discursive turn; international business; sociolinguistics; theoretical and methodological advances.
HRM frames of HR managers and line managers: congruence, consequences and context
by Huub Ruel, Markus Gbur
Abstract: In the HRM literature more and more attention is being paid to the role of HRM frames, especially in the phase of introducing new HRM sub-systems. Individual HRM frames consist of assumptions, expectations and knowledge about HRM. If individual HRM frames share common contents and structures, they are regarded as congruent. According to theory, congruent frames of different stakeholders increase the efficiency of the introduction of organisational changes. This study investigates the congruence of HRM frames between HR professionals and line managers in different European companies and industries by means of a qualitative analysis of 94 semi-structured interviews with HR professionals and line managers. The results suggest a model with four sequential domains: HRM-as-intended, HRM-as-composed, HRM-in-use and HRM-in-integration. This study contributes to the existing literature by exploring the importance of HRM frames during HR change, proposing a model that regards and explains HRM as a process.
Keywords: congruence; consequences; context.
Does exposure to host country language during international experiences influence the development of cultural intelligence?
by Dana L. Ott, Snejina Michailova
Abstract: The literature on cultural intelligence (CQ) has been growing steadily since the construct was introduced in 2003. An important cluster of questions in this space is centred around how CQ can be developed. We position our study in this scholarly conversation and investigate whether exposure to host country language during international experiences influences CQ development. Using Social Learning Theory (SLT), we hypothesise that individuals mean CQ differs depending on their level of exposure to the host country language. We also propose that mean CQ will be lower when individuals are either not exposed at all or only exposed to the host country language. On the basis of original data collected through a survey of 228 undergraduate and postgraduate business students undertaking study abroad, we find support for these hypotheses. We discuss the results and outline their implications for future research.
Keywords: host country language exposure; cultural intelligence; international experience; social learning theory.
Negotiation and the alignment of knowledge workers with organisational goals
by Alexander Madsen Sandvik, Richard Croucher, Paul N. Gooderham
Abstract: We investigate the alignment of work groups of knowledge workers with organisational goals in two large Norwegian companies. We explore whether negotiation processes are associated with positive organisational outcomes. We further explore whether clear management goals are necessary for successful negotiations. Finally, over and above goal clarity, we draw on past research to explore six antecedents of successful negotiation. We observe that successful negotiation processes both within work groups and between groups and management are associated with positive organisational outcomes. We further note that while goal clarity is necessary, it is not a sufficient condition for successful negotiations. We find that while the six antecedents for successful negotiations identified by previous research are in evidence, the presence of all six is not essential to success. Further, we find three antecedents not predicted by negotiation theory: the need to achieve stable work group membership before group formation; the need to avoid large groups with disparate professional backgrounds; and the positive function of managers acting as organisational advocates for work group approaches.
Keywords: organisational goals; knowledge workers; Norway; work groups; negotiation.
Chinese firms in Ireland: profile, motives and impact of human resource and industrial relations factors
by Yanyi Wang, Jonathan Lavelle, Patrick Gunnigle
Abstract: Despite its small scale and peripheral location, Ireland has enjoyed remarkable success in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI). This is predicated on a combination of incentives, principally low corporation tax but also certain human resource factors, particularly labour availability, quality and productivity. This paper presents an empirical investigation of the impact of human resource and industrial relations (HR/IR) considerations on the location decision of Chinese multinational enterprises (MNEs) in Ireland. To achieve this aim, our paper addresses two specific research objectives. We firstly seek to identify and profile the population of Chinese MNEs in Ireland, and secondly we empirically investigate the impact (or otherwise) of HR/IR considerations on their location decision. Our work confirms the low level of Chinese FDI in Ireland and finds that HR/IR factors had a differential impact on location decisions. We further highlight and discuss the extent of HR/IR impact and the underpinning reasons for variation.
Keywords: foreign direct investment; multinational enterprise; China; Ireland; human resource management; human resource; industrial relations.
Managing change in transnational companies: does cultural distance matter?
by Kurt Matzler, Andreas Strobl, Ellen Krill
Abstract: Employees commitment to change is an important prerequisite for change management success. We test how direct managers transformational leadership and top management communication impact employees commitment to change and how, in a transnational organisation, these relationships are moderated by cultural distance. We measure cultural distance using GLOBE (Global Leadership and Organizational Behaviour Effectiveness Research) dimensions. The results of the study in a German technology company (939 employees, operating in 30 countries) show that transformational leadership and top management communication are positively related to affective and normative commitment to change. Cultural distance positively moderates the direct managers transformational leadershipaffective commitment relationship and reduces the influence of top management communication on normative commitment to change.
Keywords: organisational change; transformational leadership; top management communication; cultural distance; GLOBE.
Local intermediaries and their organisational identification in a French subsidiary
by Mette Zoelner
Abstract: The paper explores identification processes among subsidiary employees who function as intermediaries between the subsidiary and headquarters thanks to their language competencies in the common corporate language. The study is based on a qualitative in-depth case study and adopts a social constructionist approach to identification.
The paper adds theoretically to the literature on languages in international business in three ways. First, it illustrates that fulfilling a role as local intermediary affects identification processes among subsidiary employees. Second, the paper shows that the literature on organizational identification contributes in conceptualising local intermediaries motivation for identification in terms of self-enhancement and sense-making. Third, the empirical analysis indicates that feelings of self-esteem and sense-making may derive from symbolic resources for constructing workplace-related identities that prevail within the societal context of the subsidiary.
In terms of managerial relevance, the study shows the importance of identifying the subsidiary employees that fulfil roles as local intermediaries in order to recognise their efforts and to foster organizational identification. When doing so, it might be relevant to consider prevailing symbolic resources in the local context, rather than the language.
Keywords: local employees; language intermediaries; organizational identification; corporate values and procedures,emic approach; qualitative studies; France.
Knowledge comes but wisdom lingers! Learning orientation as the decisive factor for translating social capital into organisational innovativeness and performance in Turkey
by Maximilian Holtgrave, Dilek Zamantili Nayir, Ann-Marie Nienaber, Gerhard Schewe
Abstract: The Turkish economy has been growing fast and Turkish organisations increasingly rival their Western competitors in terms of innovativeness. While strategy scholars primarily focus on internal capabilities such as learning orientation, network scholars typically consider external network ties as determinants of organisational success. Building on both research streams, our study develops and empirically tests an integrative framework that incorporates the specific cultural context of Turkey. Based on empirical data from 178 organizations, we demonstrate that in Turkey organisational innovativeness results from learning orientation mediating the effect of network ties on innovativeness. Thus, our study links external and internal explanations of what drives innovativeness and suggests that organisations in Turkey need to develop a network-enabled orientation towards learning. We make important recommendations for managers of Turkish organisations and those wishing to enter the Turkish market.
Keywords: learning orientation; network ties; innovativeness; performance; emerging economies; Turkey.
Self-employment: a promising agenda for IHRM research
by Urban Pauli, Beata Buchelt, Aleksy Pocztowski
Abstract: The main aim of this article is to present a theoretical model of applying HRM practices in the context of the self-employed (SE). According to recent studies and labour market data, the share of the self-employed in total employment is increasing. This may result from changes in both the business environment and attitudes to work. Running ones own business or being a self-contractor has become a promising alternative to contract employment. More and more, both young and experienced people choose this form of occupational activity for the higher earnings, career development and the work-life balance it affords. The article presents HRM as an important competency of the self-employed. That is followed by research designed to verify the interdependence between the level of HRM competency and business performance as well as SE employability.
Keywords: self-employment; international human resource management; human capital; micro firms; employability.
Corporate social responsibility and sustainability committee inside the board
by Ignacio Danvila, Jose M. Díez, Oscar Lopez De Foronda
Abstract: This study examines whether the existence of a sustainability committee with independent directors facilitates the requirements of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in order to include the company within the leading sustainable companies. Our research focuses on the firms of STOXX EUROPE 600 for the year 2015. The results evidence that the existence of a CSR committee, formed by independent directors with previous experience in socially responsible actions, orientates the board to lead the firm
Keywords: sustainability committee; corporate governance; corporate social responsibility; independent directors; Dow Jones Sustainability Index; composition of board.
Multicultural competence: an empirical comparison between intercultural sensitivity and cultural intelligence
by Otmar Varela
Abstract: Numerous frameworks have been proposed to describe the set of capabilities associated with multicultural competence. Although overlaps between some frameworks have been discussed, a theory that reconciles conflicting views is still missing. A fundamental reason for the absence of such a theory is the scarcity of efforts devoted to contrasting frameworks and identifying generalisable features. This study compares two leading frameworks in the literature, Intercultural Sensitivity (IS) and Cultural Intelligence (CQ). Relying on a sample of undergraduate students (N = 98) who participated in a study-abroad program in Mexico, the study compares the nomological networks of IS and CQ. Results indicate overlaps between the cognitive components of CQ and IS. Findings also show that personality traits work as antecedents for both frameworks. Finally, results suggest that, when predicting behavioural adaptation, the variance of fine-grained competencies outperforms broad operationalisations of the general competence. The discussion section addresses the theoretical implications of results for future conceptualisations of intercultural competence and lists practical implications of findings.
Keywords: multicultural competence; intercultural sensitivity; cultural intelligence; multicultural adaptation.
Burnout and absence among hospital nurses: an empirical study of the role of context in Argentina
by Vishwanath Baba, Louise Tourigny, Silvia Ines Monserrat, Terri Lituchy
Abstract: This study explores the role of contextual factors of significant relevance to hospitals and their impact on burnout. These include shiftwork rotation, stressful work units, and understaffing. The efficacy of absence as a coping mechanism in managing nurse burnout is examined in both the most and least stressful work units under conditions of shiftwork rotation and understaffing, respectively. The sample consists of 304 hospital nurses in Argentina. Hierarchical moderated regression analysis was employed to test the hypotheses. Results reveal that absence plays a complex and differential role in moderating the impact of shift work on nurse burnout. Absence mitigates the impact of emotional exhaustion on diminished personal accomplishment among fixed shift nurses who work in the least stressful units. But the pattern is different in more stressful units. Absence buffers the impact of emotional exhaustion on diminished personal accomplishment in units that are substantially understaffed. But its role changes when it comes to buffering the impact of emotional exhaustion on depersonalisation across levels of understaffing. Consequently, we argue that absence plays an attenuating role only when specific contextual factors cohere. Nurses who are aware of this contextual confluence manage their mental health better. We suggest that these findings have significant implications for healthcare management in Argentina.
Keywords: burnout; absenteeism; shiftwork rotation; staffing; Argentinian nurses.
The role of exploitative and exploratory innovation in export performance: an analysis of plastics industry SMEs
by Claudia Ribau, Antonio Moreira, Mario Raposo
Abstract: Innovation capabilities are important for firms to compete in the market. However, the literature has rarely examined how exploitative and exploratory innovation influences the export performance of small and medium-sized firms (SMEs). As exploitative and exploratory innovation plays different roles in sustaining SMEs competitive advantages, this article presents an analysis of how four specific firms innovation capabilities (i.e. marketing, strategy, research and development and manufacturing capabilities) impact these SMEs export performance. Moreover, this study analyses how exploitative and exploratory innovation capabilities mediate the relationship of the four firms internal innovation capabilities and export performance. The results indicate that exploitative innovation positively influences SMEs export performance, but exploratory innovation does not. Another interesting finding is that strategy and manufacturing capabilities are important antecedents of both exploratory and exploitative innovation. Furthermore, the results reveal that only manufacturing capabilities have a direct impact on export performance, whereas strategy and manufacturing capabilities are the antecedents that most influence exploitative innovation and export performance.
Keywords: SMEs; export performance; innovation capabilities; exploratory innovation; exploitative innovation.
Backgrounds of the pioneer orientation: the divergent effect of social capital
by Pedro M. Garcia-Villaverde, Maria Jose Ruiz Ortega, Miguel Toledo-Picazo
Abstract: In this paper, we analyse the backgrounds of the pioneer orientation (PO), filling the theoretical and empirical gaps in the literature about first-mover advantages (FMAs). The main aim of the study is to analyse how social capital (SC) moderates the effect of exploration and exploitation capabilities on the PO. The obtained results of this empirical study in the agrifood industry in Spain show that exploration and exploitation capabilities encourage the firms development of a PO. However, as we hypothesise, SC has a divergent moderating effect on the relationship between each type of capacity and PO. While the social relations of the company reinforce the influence of the exploitation capabilities, they weaken the effect of the exploration capabilities. We also detected that an excess of SC discourages the development of PO. We contribute to link theoretical perspectives of social capital, dynamic capabilities and FMAs to understand the backgrounds of the PO.
Keywords: social capital; pioneer orientation; capabilities; exploration; exploitation; first mover advantages; foreign markets.
The role of job embeddedness: a moderator for justice and citizenship behaviour in the workplace
by Kuo-Tai Cheng
Abstract: The study draws insights from the theory of job embeddedness as a theoretical extension to explain employees' experiences of organisational justice and citizenship behaviour. Data were collected from 120 full-time employees, via a three-wave collection procedure in order to ameliorate the bias of common method variance. The analysis confirmed the moderating effect of job embeddedness on the relationship between organisational justice and organisational citizenship behaviour; that is, when the justice is deficient, people with higher job embeddedness still demonstrate citizenship behaviour. Unlike previous studies, this research found that procedural justice did not contribute to citizenship behaviour, whilst distributive, interpersonal and informational justice did effect citizenship behaviour.
Keywords: job embeddedness; employees; organisational justice; organisational citizenship behaviour.
Managing political risk in the oil and gas industry in a developing economy: the case of BP in Angola
by Adalberto J. S. Fernandes, Alfredo Jimenez, Johannes Marcelus Kraak, Dimitrios Tsagdis
Abstract: Drawing on a case research methodology, this paper analyses political risk for oil firms in the Republic of Angola. The dramatic fall in oil prices, coupled with the existing social inequalities, have substantially increased the risk of political instability, macroeconomic instability, regulatory changes and social dissent. These factors are exacerbated by the actions and, in some cases, inaction of the government and other political players. By focusing on a specific case firm, BP, we analyse the organisational processes used by this European firm to manage political risk in Angola and compare it with an existing framework for political risk management. We conducted semi-structured interviews with political risk management professionals within the firm and a review of corporate documents provided by the firm to ensure the qualitative analysis achieves more consistent results. Despite having a political risk management culture embedded in their strategies and plans, our findings show that political risk management is not completely developed yet.
Keywords: political risk; developing economy; Angola; oil and gas sector; organisational processes; country risk.
Divinity rules: towards a revised typology of multinational corporate parenting styles
by Igor Gurkov, Michael J. Morley
Abstract: We advance a revised and extended typology of multinational corporate parenting styles designed to capture different approaches identifiable in multinational headquarter - subsidiary interactions. Invoking ancient Greek mythology, we propose a four-way classification of the observed dominant styles. Multinational corporations pursuing a Cronus parenting style emphasise exploitation and demonstrate a proclivity for continuously extracting value from their subsidiary units. Multinationals following a Rhea parenting style focus on adding value to their subsidiaries and place a strong emphasis on care and accommodation in parent-subsidiary interactions. Zeus style multinational parents encourage heroism among their offspring, something that is commonly leveraged through adding financial value to the subsidiary and extracting a range of other types of value in return. Those multinational parents pursuing an Athena parenting style place an emphasis on developing and safeguarding wisdom in their subsidiaries and display a continuous desire for a balanced exchange of value in their on-going interactions.
Keywords: multinational companies; corporate parenting styles; headquarters; subsidiaries; Russia.
Special Issue on: Thematic Issue on HRM Implementation Effectiveness in Europe Mechanisms and Contextual Factors within the International Arena for Human Resource Management and Line Management
HR professionals use of influence in the effective implementation of HR practices
by Jordi Trullen, Mireia Valverde
Abstract: This study examines the use of influence tactics by HR professionals to increase the likelihood that HR practices (HRPs) are effectively implemented. We use logistic regression to test the effect of HR professionals use of both soft and hard influence tactics on HRP implementation effectiveness in a sample of 82 successful and 74 failed implementation processes. The results show that HR professionals are more likely to see the HRPs they develop effectively implemented when they (1) involve line managers in the development of HRPs (consultation), (2) look for credible figures within the organization that may publicly endorse and support the new practice (coalition), and (3) do not put too much pressure on HRP users with deadlines and reminders (pressure). While soft tactics such as rational persuasion, inspirational appeals or ingratiation are very much used by HR professionals, our results show that they do not have a significant impact on HR implementation effectiveness when controlling for other factors such as HRPs level of organisational fit and CEO support. We discuss these findings in the light of the HR implementation and HR influence literatures.
Keywords: HR implementation; HR professionals; influence tactics; top management support; organisational fit.
HRM implementation in multinational companies: the dynamics of multifaceted scenarios
by Anna Bos-Nehles, Tanya Bondarouk, Soeren Labrenz
Abstract: This study explores why the subsidiary line managers of multinational companies (MNCs) implement HRM practices differently than intended by headquarters. HRM implementation is understood as a process in which one has to differentiate between a range of multifaceted HRM implementation scenarios. We build on a single case study in a Dutch subsidiary of a US engineering company that we characterised as an extreme case. The analysis comprises in-depth interviews with HRM and line managers and a study of policy documents using multiple iteration cycles with the software ATLAS.ti. Line managers engage in a range of behaviours: they ignore, deviate, imitate, internalise, initiate and/or integrate the delegated practices because they fail to see the value of the content of the practice and the process of execution. The HRM implementation scenarios found, although distinctive, often overlap, evolve or coexist in a dynamic HRM implementation process. We predict a support role for HRM managers in which they facilitate line managers in deviating from intended practices, and initiating new ones, in order to increase the likelihood of successful internalisation and integration.
Keywords: HRM implementation; line management; MNC subsidiary; HRM practices; HRM transfer.
Special Issue on: Knowledge Management Practices and Cross-Cultural Innovation within Global Contexts
Tool-supported continuous business process innovation: a case study in globally distributed software teams
by Alberto Heredia, Ricardo Colomo-Palacios, Pedro Soto-Acosta
Abstract: During the production of software, individuals acquire tacit knowledge that can be useful to improve business processes. Even though people are geographically dispersed, social software supports the creation of knowledge clusters and provides additional channels to share knowledge for business process improvement. This paper describes a successful case study in which useful tacit knowledge is captured from a knowledge cluster with the aim of innovating services provided by a consultancy organisation. To this end, a knowledge-management-based framework helps to capture useful tacit knowledge, from individuals in different locations by using two social software tools during the production of software. Findings reveal that the use of this framework empowers the continuous innovation of business processes, thus allowing consultancy organisations to provide high-quality solutions. Moreover, the framework allows newcomers to receive support from other colleagues and also mitigates the knowledge loss produced owing to the high rotation of personnel in such organisations.
Keywords: continuous innovation; business processes; tacit knowledge; social software; global software development; knowledge management.
KMS self-efficacy, KMS quality, expected reward and subjective norm: investigating knowledge sharing attitude of Malaysia's Halal industry
by Christine Nya-Ling Tan, T. Ramayah, Simona Popa
Abstract: Despite the proliferation of knowledge management research, there is still no clear answer to the question of the effect of Knowledge Management System (KMS) self-efficacy, KMS quality, expected reward and subjective norm on knowledge sharing (KS) attitude among employees predominantly in the context of the Halal industry. This paper would shed some light by analysing the data collected from the Halal industry located in Malaysia's Halal Parks, residing in the states of Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Melaka. By employing the partial least squares path modelling, the results of the empirical study extend the understanding of the antecedents - KMS self-efficacy, KMS quality and subjective norm by confirming their significant effect on employees KS attitude with subjective norm as the utmost major predictor. The implications to both research and practice are also provided in this paper.
Keywords: KMS self-efficacy; KMS self-efficacy quality; expected reward; subjective norm; knowledge sharing attitude; Halal industry.
A cross-cultural perspective of voluntary disclosure: Italian listed firms in the stakeholder global context
by Daniela Coluccia, Eugenio D'Amico, Stefano Fontana, Silvia Solimene
Abstract: Through this paper, we empirically studied the presence, evolution, and determinants of voluntary disclosure with reference to the Italian Stock Exchange context in a multi-stakeholder approach. In particular, we identified eight stakeholders: customers, suppliers, competitors, institutions, community, environment, human capital and corporate governance, and financial lenders. For each one, we verified its disclosure in the following years: 2006, 2009, and 2012. As far as the presence and evolution of disclosure, our results show that there has been indeed an increase of disclosure, especially during the period 2009-2012. But it is still far from the level required by international organisations (Guidelines of the Global Reporting Initiative; Guidelines for ESG approved by the European Federation of Financial Analysts Societies; Guidelines developed as part of the CSR-SC project, prepared by the Italian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy). With reference to the determinants, we applied a mixed logit model for generalised binomial random variables that allowed us to see that the only variable that positively affects the disclosure of each stakeholder is the firm size.
Keywords: voluntary disclosure; stakeholder's theory; global listed companies; cross-cultural management.
Open innovation in multinational companies' subsidiaries: the role of internal and external knowledge
by Alberto Ferraris, Gabriele Santoro, Stefano Bresciani
Abstract: The mainstream literature on innovation management has recognised that most organisations can and must innovate using both internal and external knowledge sources. The management of knowledge in multinational companies (MNCs) implies that subsidiaries should achieve centrality because they are in the unique position to tap into many different sources of knowledge from different cultural contexts. In this context, this paper aims to highlight the importance of 'openness' at the subsidiary level, combining both external and internal knowledge (within the MNC but outside the subsidiary). To do so, we test the single and joint effects of external and internal 'openness' on subsidiaries' innovation performance. Using Amadeus databases, 163 subsidiaries were selected and data were collected through a standardised questionnaire. Then, three hypotheses were tested through an OLS regression model. The results indicate that external and internal knowledge openness positively affects subsidiaries' innovation performance. Moreover, the inclusion of the interaction term shows that a high level of both leads to a multiplicative and positive effect. The findings are discussed in the light of the extant literature, and several implications for future research and MNC and subsidiary managers are highlighted.
Keywords: open innovation; external knowledge sources; knowledge; knowledge management; multinational corporations; MNCs; subsidiaries; openness; internal open innovation; internal knowledge sources.
Entrepreneurial settings within global family firms: research perspectives from cross-cultural knowledge management studies
by Veronica Scuotto, Manlio Del Giudice, Nigel Holden, Alberto Mattiacci
Abstract: An organisational culture is composed of beliefs that are shared by the members of a group and endure over time, even when the management team changes. These beliefs nurture new entrepreneurs, mainly in family firms in which the sense of traditions and values fuels the business growth. This is then passed on to future generations through a cross-generational culture approach. Therefore, in line with this, the present research investigates the evolution of the cross-generational culture and its effects on the entrepreneurial mindset. Following Hofstede's model, the research analysed in depth a case study of a large family firm based in southern Italy. A threefold contribution is made to the literature: first, the relevance of the evolution of family firms' culture over the generations; secondly, the enhancement of the entrepreneurial mindset, converting the family business culture into the virtual reality; and, third, the improvement of Hofstede's model, offering an action research and a different point of view of culture - based on differences not of national cultures but of generational culture.
Keywords: family firms; next generation; entrepreneurial mindset; cross-generational culture.
Special Issue on: Entrepreneurship Cross-National and Cross-Cultural Perspectives
Entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurial intentions: a cross-cultural study of university students
by Tatiana Beliaeva, Anastasiia Laskovaia, Galina Shirokova
Abstract: The present study explores the link between entrepreneurial learning and students entrepreneurial intentions, and examines the role of characteristics of national culture in this relationship. It contributes to the existing literature in the field by addressing the call for focusing on learning rather than teaching entrepreneurship and contextualisation of entrepreneurship knowledge. The hypotheses are tested using dataset of 84,453 students from 28 countries, collected as part of the Global University Entrepreneurial Spirit Students Survey (GUESSS) project in 2013-2014. Results reveal a positive relationship between entrepreneurial learning and students entrepreneurial intentions. However, this relationship was found to be moderated by different dimensions of national culture, being stronger in individualistic cultures and weaker in high uncertainty avoidance societies.
Keywords: Entrepreneurial learning, entrepreneurial intentions, cross-cultural perspective, students, GUESSS
One size does not fit all: generalising entrepreneurial insights in a world of differences
by Gerhard Apfelthaler, William B. Gartner, Armin J. Kammel
Abstract: This article is an introduction to the special issue on 'Entrepreneurship: Cross-National and Cross-Cultural Perspectives'. Besides providing overviews of the six articles published in the special issue, we discuss some of the challenges that arise when scholars explore cross-national and cross-cultural perspectives in entrepreneurship.
Keywords: entrepreneurship; cross-cultural entrepreneurship; cross-national entrepreneurship.
Special Issue on: GEM&L 2016 Working across Language Boundaries in International Business
Multilingual research, monolingual publications: management scholarship in English only?
by Susanne Tietze
Abstract: This paper identifies several stages of international management scholarship as multilingual in character as the conception and execution of research projects, whether empirical or theoretical, frequently require the use of several languages. These multilingual practices are contrasted with the monolingual nature of management research at the stage of disseminating newly generated knowledge, a stage that is dominated by the exclusive and taken for granted use of the English language. The paper challenges the ontological and epistemological assumption that such monolingual practice is based upon, and opens the black box of international management research by asking questions about its language-based processes, which remain muted and ignored. In concluding, a turn to translation is proposed in order to harness the creativity inherent in multilingual research, while preserving the role of English as a shared language of knowledge.
Keywords: management research; international management research; language diversity; publication; management journals; English; hegemony; knowledge production.
Small and medium-sized enterprises in a multilingual region: best practices in multilingualism or missed opportunities?
by Elena Chiocchetti
Abstract: The paper focuses on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) located in bilingual/multilingual regions. We analyse how they manage multilingual communication, multilingual knowledge sharing, and internationalisation. The findings are based on a qualitative and quantitative study conducted on SMEs located in multilingual South Tyrol, Italy. Our data reveal that exploiting multilingualism as a competitive advantage represents a challenge for the local SMEs well before internationalisation. Language-related challenges are partly similar to those faced by large international multinationals. However, some of the specific characteristics of SMEs have a notable impact on language practices, (multilingual) knowledge sharing, and internationalisation paths.
Keywords: small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; multilingual regions; South Tyrol; internationalisation; cross-cultural knowledge management; multilingual knowledge management; multilingual business communication; competitive advantage; translation practices.
Language boundary-crossing by business school faculty using English as a medium of instruction
by Peter Daly, Dennis Davy
Abstract: This paper explores the challenges facing non-native speaking faculty using English as a medium of instruction in French business schools. It analyses the challenges reported by 15 faculty members, their perceptions of what is lost and gained, the strategies they employ and the metaphors they use to describe their teaching experience. Findings show that the challenges are both linguistic and non-linguistic, with faculty reporting both linguistic loss and cultural and pedagogical gain, as they enact communicative and coping strategies to compensate for their lack of English knowledge, and use metaphors that evoke their teacher identity. This research points to the need to conduct language audits given the sophistication of language use within the management academy, the taken-for-granted nature of institutional Englishisation as well as the multiple identities of business school faculty, who undertake extensive personal development to navigate the challenges they face when teaching in English.
Keywords: Englishisation; English as medium of instruction; business school; linguistic imperialism; hegemony; language barriers; boundary-crossing; self-concept; faculty perception; metaphor.
Discretionary power on the front-line: a bottom-up perspective on corporate language management
by Guro R. Sanden, Dorte Lønsmann
Abstract: This article investigates the communication practices used by front-line employees to cross language boundaries in the context of English language policies implemented by the management of three multinational corporations headquartered in Scandinavia. Based on an analysis of interview and document data, our findings show that employees face a number of different language boundaries in their everyday work, and that ad hoc and informal solutions in many cases are vital for successful cross-language communication. We introduce the concept of discretionary power to explain how and why front-line employees diverge from the corporate language policies, and emphasise the role of individual agency in the implementation of language policy. With a focus on the communication practices of front-line employees, the article contributes with a bottom-up, employee-centred perspective on corporate language management, emphasising the importance of paying attention to the micro level of everyday interactions in the study of language policy and practice.
Keywords: English as a corporate language; discretionary power; linguistic diversity; language policy; front-line; employee perspective.
Conceptualising English as a business lingua franca
by Miya Komori-Glatz
Abstract: Though a popular and somewhat controversial topic in discussions on language in IB, the notion of English as a (business) lingua franca/(B)ELF still lacks clear conceptualisation. This paper argues that research in IB and linguistics can be mutually complementary and supportive in conceptualising BELF, and that it is important to separate the concept of BELF from that of a common corporate language. The paper synthesises key works from both disciplines to conceptualise BELF as an emergent, multilingual use of English that adapts to the demands and resources of the specific context. It further argues that Wengers (1998) concept of Communities of Practice offers a useful bridge between the disciplines, and that there is a need for more empirical research.
Keywords: English as a business lingua franca; BELF; language; language management; international business; communities of practice; intercultural communication; conceptual paper.
'It crosses all the boundaries': hybrid language use as empowering resource
by Claudine Gaibrois
Abstract: This study contributes to language-sensitive international business research by examining forms of language use other than monolingual conversations in national languages. It focuses on hybrid languages that are derived from heterogeneous language sources. Based on modern linguistic research, the study conceptualises multilingualism as joint mobilisation of linguistic resources. Adopting a discursive approach, it empirically investigates the positive and negative effects of hybrid language use for individuals and teams in two companies in Switzerland. The findings show that users of hybrid language are positioned as being able to exchange information more effectively, feeling more comfortable in interactions as well as having more possibilities to express voice and participate. At the same time, hybrid language use is described as having limiting effects in certain contexts. The study therefore suggests to integrate hybrid languages in definitions of individual and organisational language capital, and to strategically address it on the top management and human resources management level.
Keywords: multilingual organisations; hybrid language use; multilingualism as joint linguistic resources mobilisation; linguistic research; participation; expressing voice; improved communication; efficiency; information exchange; knowledge transfer; individual and organisational language capital; translingual communicative competence; discursive study; Switzerland.