• Language and the faces of power: A theoretical approach

      Wilmot, Natalie V. (2017-04)
      Although language is gaining increasing attention in the international management literature, much of the existing empirical work takes a mechanistic approach and as such fails to give sufficient attention to the relationship between language policies and power. By synthesizing the language-sensitive literature in international management with that of organization studies, I demonstrate how the choice of language policy can be viewed as a particular application of power and how employees may seek to resist such choices. This is an important contribution to the cross-cultural management literature, as it extends the understanding of the link between language policies and power by moving away from neutral, pragmatic understandings of language use which have dominated previous research. In doing so, it provides future directions for empirical research in order to enable a deeper understanding of the microprocesses by which employees subjectively experience and resist the imposition of such policies.