Language Management in a Japanese Multinational Company
On Friday 28 October 2022 Ziyuan Zhang will hold a trial lecture on a prescribed topic and defend his thesis for the PhD degree at NHH.
Prescribed topic for the trial lecture:
Challenges in language testing in globally operating companies: a closer look at the conceptualizations of ‘English´
10:15 in Aud N
Title of the thesis:
Language Management in a Japanese Multinational Company: A Data-Driven Approach
Globalization poses a challenge for businesses with linguistically diverse staff, prompting the choice of English as the default corporate language. In Japan, research on the use of English in business contexts from both corporate and employees’ perspectives is very limited, let alone studies adopting a data-driven approach.
This study focuses on Rakuten, a Japanese multinational corporation (MNC), with the aim of illustrating the key challenges the company faces when it adopts English as its official language.
The research is interdisciplinary and is positioned at the intersection of business communication, computational sociolinguistics, and language management. The first article, “Content analysis of language-sensitive recruitment influenced by corporate language policy using topic modeling”, explores the match (or mismatch) between language-sensitive recruitment (English, Japanese, or bilingual) and corporate language policy.
The second article, “It is all about TOEIC: discovering topics and trends in employee perceptions of corporate language policy”, examines the barriers in multinational companies that have adopted a foreign language and analyzes employees’ attitudes.
The third and final article, “Analyzing cultural expatriates’ attitude toward ‘Englishnization’ using dynamic topic modeling”, investigates changes in employee’ perceptions of Japanese work practices and values over time. The results of my study have implications for the implementation of language-sensitive recruitment in a multilingual corporate context. Furthermore, the thesis also highlights the evolutionary nature of corporate language policy topics by exploring and categorizing large amounts of text. Overall, the results presented in the three articles expand the understanding of the challenges associated with the use of English in a Japanese business.
12:15 in Aud N
Members of the evaluation committee:
Associate Professor Annelise Ly (leader of the committee), Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication, NHH
Professor Bernard De Clerck, Ghent University, Belgium
Senior Lecturer, Anne Kankaanranta, Aalto University, Finland
Professor Gisle Andersen (main supervisor), Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication, NHH
Associate Professor Kristin Rygg, Department of Professional and Intercultural Communication, NHH
The trial lecture and thesis defence will be open to the public.