Title: International managers as translators

Authors: Susanne Tietze

Addresses: Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU, UK

Abstract: This paper draws attention to the role of the English language in creating an increasingly interconnected and globalised world. The argument of the paper is developed by contemplating the use of language and discourse by those agents who are deeply involved and implicated in the making of such global realities, viz. international managers. Such contemplation follows the trajectory provided by the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Within its narrative logic three discursively based, yet different, conceptualisations of international management (engineer, cultural negotiator, translator) are offered and aligned to three linguistic traditions (determinism, relativity, translation studies) and three understandings of globalisation (convergence, cultural difference, complexity). In concluding, it is advised that future research might concern itself with the nexus of ties between language systems and discourses and how they inform the making of organisational worlds.

Keywords: English language; international management; translation studies; Tower of Babel; discourse.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2010.031282

European Journal of International Management, 2010 Vol.4 No.1/2, pp.184 - 199

Published online: 27 Jan 2010 *

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