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Intercultural Interactions in Business and Management

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Rita Salvi and Hiromasa Tanaka

Given the consolidated position of English as the international language for communication in business and management, this book depicts a wide scenario in which to analyse and compare interactions between eastern/western European users of English, as well as Asian/European/North American speakers. From each chapter, different sociolinguistic realities emerge. They affect English, as used largely by non-native speakers, but also the relationship between local or national cultures and the global professional discourse community.
In this context not only the specialized lexis is analysed, but rather the ways in which different geo-political cultures construe, manifest and establish their identities. Although it is difficult to classify pragmatic usages of language, the six chapters in the first section deal with language and culture following a genre-based approach, whereas the six chapters of the second section specifically consider corporate identity in intercultural interactions.
This volume, which aims to avoid stereotypes and promote mutual understanding, is the offspring of a two-day seminar as part of the 10th ESSE (European Society for the Study of English) Conference, held in Turin, August 2010.

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JUDITH TURNBULL How ‘Glocal’ is Corporate Discourse? A Case Study of a Multinational’s Website 73

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JUDITH TURNBULL How ‘Glocal’ is Corporate Discourse? A Case Study of a Multinational’s Website 1. Introduction Glocalization has been a buzzword in business for many years. The term originates from the Japanese word dochakuka, which denotes the principle of adapting farming techniques to local conditions. Trans- lated into the field of business it is a strategy by which multinationals combine a global, standardized strategy with adaptation to and align- ment with local values and choices, at both an operational and a mar- keting level. Global companies tailor their products and marketing to local situations, in what Robertson calls “a kind of micromarketing” (1995: 28). However, it is argued that corporate communication needs to be “harmonized as effectively and efficiently as possible” (van Riel 1995: 26), so that a single homogeneous image of the company is presented in both internal and external communication. This is done through the pro- jection of leitmotivs, characteristic and coherent themes and style that create and shape the corporate identity (Löwensberg 2006: 239). Com- panies and products take on a ‘brand personality’ (Koller 2007: 114) with which their stakeholders can identify. A brand is founded on a set of core values which are then related to a specific range of social prac- tices. Since values and social practices are culture-specific, this raises the question of whether it is possible for a multinational to really ‘glo- calize’, without weakening its corporate brand. Machin and Thornborrow (2003: 454) suggest a brand has a set of representations which...

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