Research on language – its importance and influence on multinational company (MNC) strategy, human resource management policies, knowledge flows and communication, has gained prominence as a separate area of study (e.g., Marschan-Piekkari, Welch & Welch, 1999;
Feely & Harzing, 2003). Yet, the pros and cons of a common corporate language strategy are still being debated, despite much of the early empirical evidence pointing towards substantial difficulties and risks in achieving language standardization (Marschan-Piekkari et al., 1999; Dhir& Goke-Pariola, 2002; Fredriksson, Barner-Rasmussen, & Piekkari, 2006).
For many people working in MNCs, communicating in English (the modern ‘lingua franca’) is, however, increasingly an operational reality. This study considers the implications of a multilingual context, coupled with the increasing use of English, for managers working in MNCs.