From language classrooms to outdoor markets, the workplace is fundamental to socialisation. It is not only a site of employment where money is made and institutional roles are enacted through various forms of discourse; it is also a location where people engage in social actions and practices. The workplace is an interesting research site because of advances in communication technology, cheaper and greater options for travel, and global migration and immigration. Work now requires people to travel over great geographical distances, communicate with cultural ‘others’ located in different time zones, relocate to different regions or countries, and conduct business in online settings. The workplace is thus changing and evolving, creating new and emerging communicative contexts.
This volume provides a greater understanding of workplace cultures, particularly the ways in which working in highly interconnected and multicultural societies shape language and intercultural communication. The chapters focus on critical approaches to theory and practice, in particular how practice is used to shape theory. They also question the validity and universality of existing models. Some of the predominant models in intercultural communication have been criticised for being Eurocentric or Anglocentric, and this volume proposes alternative frameworks for analysing intercultural communication in the workplace. This book was originally published as a special issue of Language and Intercultural Communication.
Introduction – Language and intercultural communication in the workplace: critical approaches to theory and practice Hans J. Ladegaard and Christopher J. Jenks
1. Reconsidering intercultural (communication) competence in the workplace: a dialectical approach Judith N. Martin and Thomas K. Nakayama
2. Issues of language and competence in intercultural business contexts Shanta Nair-Venugopal
3. Examining linguistic proficiency in the multilingual glocal workplace: a Malaysian case study Sze Seau Lee and Yew Lie Koo
4. The importance of interfaith dialog in the workplace for achieving organizational goals: a Kenyan case study Agnes Lucy Lando, Linda Muthuri and Paul R. Odira
5. Preparing students for the global workplace: the impact of a semester abroad Jane Jackson
6. The impact of international students on the university work environment: a comparative study of a Canadian and a Danish university Jane Vinther and Gordon Slethaug
7. ‘The cultural stuff around how to talk to people’: immigrants’ intercultural communication during a pre-employment work-placement Prue Holmes
8. Virtual team management: what is causing communication breakdown? Jane Lockwood
9. Identities at odds: embedded and implicit language policing in the internationalized workplace Spencer Hazel
10. International city branding as an intercultural discourse: workplace, development, and globalization Shi-xu