Standardization and contextualization: a study of language and leadership across 17 countries

Lena Zander*, Audra I. Mockaitis, Anne Wil Harzing, Joyce Baldueza, Wilhelm Barner-Rasmussen, Cordula Barzantny, Anne Canabal, Anabella Davila, Alvaro Espejo, Rita Fernandes Ferreira, Axéle Giroud, Kathrin Koester, Yung Kuei Liang, Michael J. Morley, Barbara Myloni, Joseph O. T. Odusanya, Sharon Leiba O'Sullivan, Ananda Kumar Palaniappan, Paulo Prochno, Srabani Roy ChoudhuryAyse Saka-Helmhout, Sununta Siengthai, Ayda Uzuncarsili Soydas, Linda Viswat

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    50 Citations (Scopus)


    With multinational corporations increasingly adopting English as a corporate language, the issue of language management and the pros and cons of language standardization have been widely debated in the literature. Our 17-country study considers whether the use of English as a common corporate language causes difficulties. We empirically examine whether managerial reactions to specific leadership scenario-based situations change as a consequence of the language they use. Our results show that the choice of language (native or English) does not matter much for the studied leadership scenarios. Instead, leadership decisions and reactions depend more on cultural and situational context.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)296-304
    Number of pages9
    JournalJournal of World Business
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    • Context
    • Cultural accommodation
    • Culture
    • Language
    • Leadership
    • Multinational company


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