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

Zander L., Mockaitis A. I. , Harzing A., Baldueza J., Barner-Rasmussen W., Barzantny C., ...More

JOURNAL OF WORLD BUSINESS, vol.46, no.3, pp.296-304, 2011 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 46 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jwb.2010.07.009
  • Title of Journal : JOURNAL OF WORLD BUSINESS
  • Page Numbers: pp.296-304


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. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.