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The Language of Global SuccessHow a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations$
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Tsedal Neeley

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780691196121

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691196121.001.0001

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Cultural Expats and the Trojan Horse of Language

Cultural Expats and the Trojan Horse of Language

“It’s their culture wrapped in our language”

(p.58) 4 Cultural Expats and the Trojan Horse of Language
The Language of Global Success

Tsedal Neeley

Princeton University Press

This chapter follows the native English speakers through their first phase, when euphoria reigned because they (incorrectly, as it turned out) assumed that Englishnization was solely about language. It also follows them through the second phase, about two years into Englishnization. By this time, they found it nearly as difficult to accept the changes wrought in their day-to-day workplace as did the native Japanese speakers. While the Japanese employees had to change to adopt a foreign language, the American employees had to change to adopt the Rakuten organizational culture that had been mostly suppressed by the language barrier. Employees in both groups had to adjust their perception of themselves and their place in the company—in this respect, the groups were mirror images of one another.

Keywords:   native English speakers, cultural expats, organizational culture, American employees, linguistic ethnocentricity, American subsidiaries, Englishnization, language barrier

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