Title: Language in globalised interactive business: adaptation vs. standardisation

Authors: Ulla-Riitta Ahlfors; Meiqi Fang

Addresses: Jyvaskyla University School of Business and Economics (JSBE), University of Jyvaskyla, P.O. Box 35, FIN-40014, Finland ' Information School, Renmin University of China, No. 59 Zhongguancun Street, Haidian District Beijing, 100872, China

Abstract: We investigate language-related choices made in online firms characterised as 'interactive' and having multiple and varying audiences, in both consumer and business marketing environments. Online language choices and their relatedness with firm strategic and tactical behaviour have little received scrutiny. Using survey data, we investigate the role language plays in online firms. We scrutinise whether or not firms significantly adapt to their targeted markets through language and how such adaptive or standardising behaviour relates with firm internationalisation level, and furthermore, if this behaviour relates with how firms interact with their environment. When studying how firms interact with their environment, we use a customer viewpoint - including consumer and business customer - and business network viewpoint. 'Internationalisation' we study through expanding into new geographic markets and language areas. Some measured topics are factors in firm online language strategy.

Keywords: language; globalisation; interactive business; e-business; electronic business; online marketing; electronic marketing; e-marketing; interactivity; international marketing; standardisation; adaptation; strategy.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEB.2017.083292

International Journal of Electronic Business, 2017 Vol.13 No.2/3, pp.143 - 162

Received: 10 Jan 2015
Accepted: 13 Jan 2016

Published online: 23 Mar 2017 *

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