Kauppakorkeakoulu | Kielten ja viestinnän laitos | International Business Communication | 2009
Tutkielman numero: 12186
Working in four official languages: The perceptions of OGB employees on the role of language in internal communication
|Working in four official languages: The perceptions of OGB employees on the role of language in internal communication
|2009 Kieli: eng
|Kielten ja viestinnän laitos
|International Business Communication
|kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; yritysviestintä; business communication; kielet; languages; kielitaito; language proficiency
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|language; internal communication; language diversity; NGO; employee communication; corporate languages; lingua franca; organizational communication; language competence; knowledge communication; sisäinen viestintä; kielellinen monimuotoisuus; hyväntekeväisyysjärjestö; työntekijöiden viestintä; viralliset kielet; yrityskielet; yritysviestintä; kielen osaaminen
Objectives of the study
Language in internal communication has been studied from the perspectives of common corporate languages, how language plays a part in mergers, and language effects in headquarter-subsidiary relationships. Language enables communication by providing a tool. This thesis aims at studying how language plays a role in internal communication within a global organization and will examine this from the perspective of employees. The study aims to answer to the following main question: What is the role of language in internal communication in a global organization? The main question is followed by two sub-questions: How do four official languages operate in a global organization? What are the perceptions of employees on language choice and use in internal communication?
This study was based on a qualitative approach, using the case-study method for data collection. The case organization was Oxfam GB (OGB), a global non-governmental organization. This research focused on three different regions within the organization and obtained data from all regions to gain a comprehensive view. The regions included in the study were the Latin American & Caribbean region (LAC), the West African region (WAF) and the South African region (SAF). The data was collected through three different means, which were: focus group sessions, interviews and an online language survey. The data consisted of 7 focus groups, 20 interviews and 176 responses to the online survey.
Results of the Study
The research findings indicate that the role of language in internal communication is either an enabler or hinderer of communication. From the results of the study on OGB we can see that the presence of language in internal communication is significant. The employees felt there was a lack of structure and guidelines to the use of languages and that the quality and timeliness of translations needed to be improved. English was mentioned by employees as being the dominant language and they reported that this also created a barrier to employees in communications and career progression. Languages were also mentioned in the sharing of information, indicating that information was not shared if there was no common language. Recommendations were presented for OGB as to how they could better manage the relationship between language and internal communication.
Verkkojulkaisut ovat tekijänoikeuden alaista aineistoa. Teokset ovat vapaasti luettavissa ja tulostettavissa henkilökohtaista käyttöä varten. Aineiston käyttö kaupallisiin tarkoituksiin on kielletty.