Title: I know how! You know how! We know how! the multinational matter of language use in task teams

Authors: Christina L. Butler

Addresses: Department of Leadership, HRM and Organisation, Faculty of Business and Law, Kingston University, Kingston Hill, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey, KT2 7LB, UK

Abstract: The need for high-performance multinational teams is now a reality for many organisations dealing with the increasing complexities of global business. It is a reality that organisations often struggle to achieve, and so a deep understanding of how to create a strong shared team culture in such circumstances is imperative. A key element in the development of a strong shared team culture is that of a shared language. Work integrating language into the frameworks of international management and global teams, however, remains in its infancy. In this theory-building paper, language is placed centre stage. This paper begins to identify the implications of particular language choices for the work performance of multinational teams. Leveraging previous research on status cues, theory is built in this paper around the differential use of task indicative cues spoken in a shared language across multinational work team members. The paper reviews literature on language in the international sphere, multinational teams, and status cues across cultures including the differential use of task indicative cues before sections on theory-building and implications for management practice are presented.

Keywords: multinational teams; multicultural teams; language; culture; status cues; task indicative cues; teamwork.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2011.041673

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2011 Vol.11 No.2/3/4, pp.221 - 234

Published online: 29 Jul 2011 *

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