از انتقال یک طرفه تا انتقال دو طرفه: به سوی یک مدل یکپارچه برای مدیریت زبان در MNE
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|11524||2010||8 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7300 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of International Management, Volume 16, Issue 3, September 2010, Pages 304–313
In this theory building paper, I propose a framework for analyzing language transition in the MNE. The paper suggests the application of the institutional theory of practice transfer to language transition. The adaption of the practice transfer model to language transition takes account of the evolutionary context-oriented nature of language processes in the MNE, the impact of the characteristics of the parent company, and the activist role of language management programs as institutional agents.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The implementation of a language strategy in the MNE can encounter a complex labyrinth of barriers spanning social, organizational and relational contexts. This paper seeks to enhance our understanding of the language transition process. Firstly, I have argued the applicability, with appropriate modifications, of the practice transfer model, as suggested by Kostova, to the analysis of language transfer in the MNE. Kostova's model illustrates the complexity of practice transfer in the MNE environment, acknowledging that practices are complex entities, pregnant with cultural meaning. The proposed application of the Kostova framework to language challenges the widely accepted characterization of language in the MNE as a marginal and generally straightforward technical issue. In this paper, language is repositioned as a practice, a theoretical transition that admits the importance, complexity and embedded meaning that language in the MNE context shares with generic corporate practices. Secondly, Kostova's model assumes that cross-cultural transfer of corporate practices is a process, involving multiple phases and contexts, and whose successful outcome requires the internalization of symbolic meaning and value. The application of the Kostova model to language management recognizes that language transition in the MNE is also a multi-layered process, liable to engender resistance and conflict, and which ultimately requires institutionalization, yielding an end-game scenario where language practice is taken for granted across parent–host lines. The complexity of language transition is reinforced in the proposed adaptation of the two-phase model, as used by Kostova to capture the process of practice transfer, into an evolutionary three-phase model, comprising instrumental implementation, conversational implementation, and institutionalization. The model emphasizes the particularity of language as a practice, and corresponds with the modeling of the progression of language transition at the individual, group (or social) and firm levels. Thirdly, I have posited that the context of analysis, which in the Kostova model is largely focused on the host organization, needs to be extended in the language transition arena to include the parent organization as well. The bilateral approach suggests a theoretical and practical alternative to the cause and effect logic of Kostova's model, in the sense that effective language management does not necessarily require mitigation of the institutional distance that is perceived as the barrier to internationalization and change, but rather its acknowledgement and consideration. Finally, in contradistinction to the Kostova model, the proposed framework emphasizes the proactive role of the parent organization as a positive agent of change in the implementation of language policy in the MNE. In this context, I have suggested that in order to model the process of language transition, it is important to understand not only the environment in which the transition occurs, but also the processes and actions by which transition can be propelled forward by the parent organization. Within the proposed framework, the parent organization is perceived as a proactive actor through its dynamic role in language management. At the broader theoretical level, the proposed framework, with its emphasis on the internalization of meaning and value-impregnated language practices, places language transition within the overarching framework of institutional theory. More specifically, the proposed adaptation of the model is aligned with the debate between institutional structure and institutional agency (Battilana and D'Aunno, 2009). Unlike Kostova, who is aligned with the institutional structure approach, with its focus on the isomorphism of practices to their environment, this paper moves towards the more activist institutional agency approach. According to the structural approach, practice transfer creates a gap and possible conflict between the original environment to which the organization or the practice was bound, and the new environment to which the practice is transferred. The transfer fails if the gap between the “imported” practice and the host environment does not marginalize. This is reflected in the liability of foreignness approach, as manifest in Kostova's model, in which the breadth of the gap is a determinant factor in the success of practice transfer. The institutional agency approach moves the focus to “institutional work” (Lawrence and Suddaby, 2006), actions that maintain, disrupt and create institutions. In the context of language management in the MNE, this paper assumes a more active managerial model in which foreignness is transformed from a liability or parameter, which impacts the MNE's ability to internationalize, into a field of action which the MNE is called upon to manage. The paper may open the way to future research in both empirical and theoretical directions. Empirically, the evolutionary model of language transition should be viewed as a preliminary proposition for further longitudinal research. Similarly, the model posits an image of phased transition, evolving progressively one after the other. Further research will be required to verify the model, identify possible refinements of the proposed stages, and to understand the duration, dynamics and overlap between the stages. Theoretical research may relate to the specific impact of the social, organizational and relational contexts on the language transition process. Such research would need to address parameters relating to both the parent and recipient units. Theoretical development could also focus on the nature of the institution created, analyzing, for example, its acceptance, functional effectiveness and survivability. With the aim of ensuring parsimony, the proposed model is focused on the common language strategy. While the common language approach is dominant in MNE's, future research may examine the applicability of the model to other language policies, such as translation, while, on the theoretical level, additional study may yield an efficient generalized model that can accommodate a broader range of MNE language policies. From the point of view of the practitioner, the proposed model positions the practitioner as a potential agent of change in de-marginalizing language management in the MNE context, while also providing a theoretical framework that can enable a more systematic structured approach to the implementation of language strategy. The implications for practitioners derive from the theoretical developments outlined in the paper. Firstly, the recognition of the complexity and importance of language in the MNE suggests that language merits a level of management attention beyond the scant consideration that it typically receives under the reigning “language as a technicality” mindset. Secondly, the proposed view of language transition as a multi-phase process suggests that management needs to plan, allocate resources, measure success and execute accordingly. In acknowledging the process aspect of language transition, the simplistic addition of English skills to the list of job requirements for host employees is unlikely to achieve the desired outcome. The process paradigm argued for in this paper challenges the typical emphasis on the “choice of language” decision to the detriment of management focus on the process required to successfully implement such a decision. More specifically, following its empirical verification, the proposed three-stage model, which delineates a process that traverses instrumental, conversational and institutional phases, could provide a framework for building and implementing language transition programs, including the construction of detailed plans, identification of milestones, and management of expectations at both the senior and operational levels of the organization. Thirdly, the positing of a bilateral context for language transition not only draws attention to the need for research prior to launching a language implementation program, but also suggests that such research needs to move beyond the specific needs of the host country, expanding its scope to encompass the specifics of the parent–host coupling. The research might involve sociolinguistic and idiographic analysis, as well planning workshops involving parent and host employees. Moreover, the positing of the parent–host coupling also implies that language transition programs successful in one context may not necessarily be transferable, that generic language transition programs may encounter difficulties, and that significant customization may be required to address the specific socio-cultural–historical complex harbored by any given parent–host context. The parent–host coupling also implies a more subtle attitudinal change: rather than viewing institutional distance as a barrier to policy implementation, the parent–host context would approach institutional differences as a consideration to be addressed in planning and building an appropriate language program. Finally, the agent-oriented view proposed in this paper places management firmly at the center of the process. Rather than assuming that the dictated language will penetrate the host organization passively, through for example mimetic or normative forces (Dimaggio and Powell, 1983), this approach calls upon management to assume a proactive role. According to this agent-centric model, it is suggested that the policies, programs and actions initiated by management will play a central role in the successful implementation and institutionalization of language policy in the MNE.