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'In a corporate environment, we need to be inclusive'. Toward understanding multinational companies' practices of multilingualism and cultural diversity

Arendas, Zsuzsanna
The aim of the present study is to give a qualitative research-based understanding of multilingual practices of a multinational company (MNC) located in the Central Eastern European region, in Budapest. The paper starts with analyzing the use of different languages, various company level practices of multilingualism, and opens up to wider issues related to everyday cultural practices related to cultural diversity of employees of such MNCs. Some of the literature in international management and business communication problematizes the questions of common corporate language used in such MNC environments, others focus on the interplay between different languages, examining the discrepancies between corporate language policies and daily practices between employees.
This paper tries to problematize the issue of corporate language (English) and use of other languages (both for business and private purposes) in the company environment, and examines the role of culture and the place of cultural practices in successful/partly successful/ failed situations of corporate communication. From the field data it appears that the domestic/ Hungarian workforce shows stronger and clearer signs of linguistic nationalism, though others come to work to this company exactly for its diversity. Some of the interviewees understand diversity and multiculturalism as not something given or granted, but rather as something which needs to be 'built' both on individual and company-level. They also believe that this company excels in nourishing such values, integrating them into its work culture.
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Contributor: Center for Policy Studies - http://cps.ceu.hu
Topic: Culture and Civil Society
Country: Hungary
Document Type: Policy Analyses
Year: 2016
Keywords: Entrepreneurial Culture, Globalisation, Language, Multiculturalism
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