A number of studies have discussed aboutlanguage diversity and its positive and negative aspects in internationalbusiness. The research has focused mainly on the individual-level of theemployees’ perspectives. Henderson (2005) analyzes language diversitydemonstrating how it functions in interactions between members of internationalmanagement teams in MNCs. Throughout the article, Henderson describes howlanguage diversity is often associated negatively in international teams;however, if managed effectively it can be a positive factor in team buildingand group cohesion.
She examines how does language diversity both hinder andfacilitate socialization. Lauring and Selmer (2012) examine the relationbetween the management of common language and a positive diversity environment.With the results, they were able to show that there are positive aspects andopenness to diversity in multicultural organizations. The positive aspects oflanguage diversity of having a diverse environment in international businessleads to more openness and English management communication are positivelyassociated with openness to linguistic diversity. Elyand Thomas (2001) examine cultural diversity in the workplace, the effects,processes, and outcomes. They propose reasons to why an organization shouldencourage cultural diversity, which can be directly related to languagediversity as a resource for learning and can be used to gain access to newmarkets internationally. Likewise, Shore et al (2009) examine the dimensions ofdiversity to describe common themes across them and the outcomes as well.
Although they examine all six dimensions of diversity including race, gender,age, disability, sexual orientation, and national origins, the main focus wason cultural diversity that can be directed related to language diversity. Many studies have researched about English as a commonlanguage and if its impact in international business are positive or negative,or both. Seidlhofer (2005) describes the term ‘ELF’, English as a lingua francaand its international use and effects. English is a widely used language aroundthe world and mostly by non-native English speakers themselves. Understandingthe term ‘English as a lingua franca’, allows the opportunity to explore thepositive aspects of using English in the workplace. Communicatingeffectively between employees is usually a challenge in international business.Feely and Harzing (2003) discuss about the language barriers that exist withinmultinational companies and what is the best way to manage communicationsacross them. Feely and Harzing provide options for managing language barriersand for MNCs to formulate their language strategies.
These options could alsobe used for recommendations for managers and employees in internationalpositions to communicate more effectively. They describe their options to beusing a lingua franca, external language resources, training, adopting acorporate language, language nodes, and so on. Harzing,Köster, and Magner (2011) similarly provide an analysis of language barriersand its solutions. With the solutions they provide could be used as ways tocommunicate more effectively in international positions as well. Some solutionsthey provided were informal day-to-day changes in communication patterns, buildredundancy in the communication exchange, language training and more.