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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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Five Years Post-Mandate

Five Years Post-Mandate

(p.110) 6 Five Years Post-Mandate
The Language of Global Success

Tsedal Neeley

Princeton University Press

This chapter documents the largely beneficial results of the lingua franca mandate on Rakuten over a period of five years, including the rise in international acquisitions, accelerated post-integration activities, centralized technical platforms, and knowledge sharing. An expanded and global talent pool changed hiring patterns within the Tokyo headquarters and worldwide, particularly in the engineering ranks. While many advances were made in the advent of the English language mandate, the chapter also highlights enduring challenges. In addition, it shows examples of Rakuten's influence beyond the confines of the organization. It chronicles how the prime minister of Japan tapped Mikitani to join a newly formed advisory body, the Industrial Competitiveness Council, to aid in developing a globalization agenda. A national language strategy was rooted in the actions that the council adopted. These activities demonstrate the role that companies can have in shaping societal growth and character.

Keywords:   Rakuten, globalization, societal growth, societal change, national language strategy, hiring patterns, Hiroshi Mikitani, lingua franca

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