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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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(p.138) 8 Conclusion
The Language of Global Success

Tsedal Neeley

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter provides some reflections on the lessons attained through the study of Rakuten's employees. The study reveals that a global company integrates its diverse and disparate pieces not only by specifying and adopting technical and organizational policies but also through the dynamic and evolving experiences that employees encounter as they meet the demands of global work. At the organizational level, a lingua franca can be a decoupling force between language and culture, and has the capacity to redistribute influence through a company in unforeseen ways. Most notably, an English-speaking Western culture is not necessarily always dominant in globalized organizations. An e-commerce giant like Rakuten that hails from an island country can forcefully assert its cultural identity. Of course, Rakuten's journey is still in process and there is no telling where it might lead. This study represents only a portion of what we can expect longitudinally when a globalizing organization makes a fundamental change to its official language.

Keywords:   globalization, Rakuten, organizational policies, language, culture, cultural identity, globalizing organization, official language, lingua franca

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