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School of Business | Department of Management Studies | International Business | 2014
Thesis number: 14514
Foreign language competence as a career enabler: Employee motivation to develop foreign language competence in the technology industry
Author: Vaittinen, Joonas
Title: Foreign language competence as a career enabler: Employee motivation to develop foreign language competence in the technology industry
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Management Studies
Academic subject: International Business
Index terms: kansainväliset yhtiöt; international companies; kielitaito; language proficiency; viestintä; communication; osaaminen; competence; kehitys; development; urakehitys; career development; motivaatio; motivation
Pages: 69
Full text:
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Key terms: foreign language competence, competence development, career development, career enablers, motivation
The primary goal of this thesis is to gather the opinions from a variety of people working in the technology industry in an attempt to gain an in-depth understanding of how foreign language competence can be utilized in the contemporary work environment. The secondary goal of this study is to examine respondent attitudes towards foreign language competence development.

This study utilizes Carrera's (2005) framework to classify the respondents into eight distinct motivation categories. Additionally, the content of the answers is analyzed in order to study foreign language competence as a career enabler in the technology industry. The research method utilized in this thesis is text analysis based on respondent answers to a qualitative, open-ended research question included in a survey initially sent out to approx. 3500 Tekniikan akateemiset ry. members.

The low frequency of intrinsically highly motivated language learners in the field of technology implies that unless the employer utilizes the employees' secondary language skills or provides language training opportunities for them, their language competence may deteriorate. This may result in a loss of soft skills for the employer, lower employee satisfaction and potentially higher turnover rates, as well as a decrease in the employability and career opportunities for the employee.

Employees in the technology industry seem to be the most motivated to foreign language competence development when the learning is voluntary, and the employees can directly apply their language skills in practical situations: in order to become and remain employed in the industry, to integrate better into the work group and/or the local society, or to become eligible for favourable career opportunities such as a foreign assignment.
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