Language and globalization in Belgian corporate contexts : institutional, individual, and interactional perspectives
This dissertation examines the intricate interplay between language and globalization in corporate contexts against the complex and localized sociolinguistic background of Belgium. A qualitative case study approach is adopted to unravel the intricacies of this interplay from institutional, individual, and interactional perspectives, and the dissertation is structured into three empirical case studies on the basis of these three perspectives. The first case study examines the perspective of ‘globalized institutions’ at FinCorp (pseudonym), a Belgian multinational corporation headquartered in Brussels. Using a socio-historical approach, the study reconstructs the development of FinCorp’s corporate language policy over the course of more than 20 years, and contextualizes these changes across regional, national, and international scales. The second case study explores the perspectives of ‘globalized individuals’ in a professional transnational workspace in Brussels, with a specific focus on language as part of the lives of professional transnational migrants who cross international borders with the aim of advancing their careers. Overall, this case study aims to explore the importance and relevance of language as part of privileged migration, both in terms of linguistic repertoire and how language is used in interaction to construct migration-related and national identity categories. The third case study centers on ‘globalized interactions’ through a focus on performance appraisals at GlobalCorp (pseudonym), a small company in Flanders which operates globally. Through research foci on the role of small talk, the use of different multilingual strategies, and the varied ways in which negative feedback is formulated through talk and text in these types of interactions, this case study aims to highlight the role, complexity, and importance of language in corporate performance appraisals. By concurrently examining these institutional, individual, and interactional perspectives, this dissertation argues that they are inherently intertwined, as each perspective is influenced by and simultaneously influences the others. Moreover, contextualizing the research within the specific sociolinguistic context of Belgium enriches our understanding of how language dynamics operate within the broader framework of corporate globalization, and in doing so, this research contributes novel insights on the complex dynamics at the intersection of language and globalization in corporate contexts.
Antwerpen : Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculteit Letteren en Wijsbegeerte, Department Taalkunde , 2024
xxi, 391 p.
Supervisor: Vandenbroucke, Mieke [Supervisor]
Supervisor: Tobback, Els [Supervisor]
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Creation 10.01.2024
Last edited 18.06.2024
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