Improving the Coherency of Language Policies in Organisations: The Role of Human Resource Management in the Field of Multilingual SMEs

Activity: Talk or presentationScience to science


Even though we can observe the famous linguistic turn in the social and economic sciences, the mutual understanding of scientific results in management studies and linguistics remains rather limited. Having found a common research topic, i.e. language policies in organisations, researchers are still lacking concepts that explain and overcome the contradictions between an explicit and an implicit language policy, and actual language practices in the world of work. Consequently, social multilingualism often becomes an illusion in business contexts, at least if we take all the linguistic competences of the employees into account. To address the issue of possible negative side effects of monolingual or bilingual working contexts on employees and organisations, we ask in this paper, how an implicit language policy in organisations can foster the coherency of the overall organisational language policy and thus contribute to a working environment that reflects the multilingual resources and needs of employees and organisations more thoroughly. To meet the challenge of multilingualism in enterprises, findings from Human Resource Management (HRM) research can help to design a consistent organisational language policy, as implicit language policy often translates into HRM instruments. This article therefore aims to propose an integrative approach to organisational language policy and HRM especially for SMEs, which integrates linguistic aspects into all HRM functions.
Period16 Mar 201618 Mar 2016
Event title10th International GEM&L Conference
Event typeUnknown
Degree of RecognitionInternational

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 506009 Organisation theory
  • 502026 Human resource management
  • 602004 General linguistics
  • 602048 Sociolinguistics
  • 602042 Romance studies