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

Lena Zander, Audra Mockaitis, Anne-Wil Harzing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

51 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 - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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