Journal article

Developing Multilingual Capacity: A Challenge for the Multinational Enterprise

Denice E Welch, Lawrence S Welch

Journal of Management | SAGE Publications | Published : 2018

Abstract

In this article, we examine how the multinational enterprise (MNE) develops the ability to function as a multilingual entity in order to facilitate communication, knowledge transfer, and absorptive capacity. While we acknowledge the role played by the adoption of a common corporate language, we argue that this response alone is insufficient to cope with the diverse foreign language demands that accompany global expansion. MNEs need what we conceptualize as language operative capacity (LOC): language resources that have been assembled and deployed in a context-relevant and timely manner throughout the MNE’s global network. Language resources are mainly derived from human and social capital, a..

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