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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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FRANCA POPPI Mediating between Local and Global Practices: the Use of English as the Lingua Franca for Internal Company Communications 235

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FRANCA POPPI Mediating between Local and Global Practices: the Use of English as the Lingua Franca for Internal Company Communications 1. Introduction The worldwide spread of English has increased exponentially as a consequence of globalisation processes connected to global economy and global communication systems – especially the Internet – which started before the 1970s (Block/Cameron 2002: 2). At present, as a consequence of continuous globalisation of markets and internation- alisation of trade, people from a wide range of organisations do busi- ness together and thus communicate with one another in international workplaces. When members from different national, socio-cultural and linguistic backgrounds come into contact, they have to choose a common language in order to communicate. Nowadays the majority of communication exchanges in the busi- ness field take place in English, which is sometimes called ‘the lan- guage of globalisation’ (Gnutzmann/Intemann, 2008: 9). In fact, more and more companies choose English as the lingua franca for internal and international communications instead of the language used in the headquarters. Lingua franca interactions may be affected by limited language skills and tend inevitably to give rise to localized forms, both because of transfer from local languages and because of the new cul- tural environment and communicative needs (Saghal 1991: 300). To establish common ground and facilitate communication, thus ensuring that their communicative intentions are not misunderstood, the parties involved have to negotiate the rules governing the interac- tions. Among the many different strategies which can contribute to 236 Franca Poppi managing cultural diversity in intercultural...

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