News Commentary 2 Language and Global Business Strategy


NewsCommentary 2: Language and Global Business Strategy


Thearticle “Why Global Businesses NeedA Language Strategy” by ChristianCamerota discusses the importance of planning for a language strategywhen implementing a strategy for international business. In thearticle, Camerota interviews TsedalNeeley, a professor at theHarvardBusiness School. In the article,Camerota notes inefficiency, friction and lost sales as the mainchallenges that face a global business strategy if language is notconsidered in the original expansion plan. In the interview, Camerotanotes that Professor Neeleyand Stephen Kaplan observed that language can be turned to be acompetitive advantage instead of being a challenge for a businessexpanding globally. According to Camerota (2014), Neely advices thebusiness executives of business with global business to learn thebasics of the foreign language of the country that their businessoperates in. Despite having the English language as a linguaFranca, Neeley and Kaplan arguethat companies should hire employees who have the advantage oflanguage for the implementation of the global strategy.

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Thisarticle explores the vital part of communication and the need forbusinesses to plan for language as part of their global businessstrategy. The article further reflects the importance of takingcareful consideration of the social, economic and political dynamicsof the global business environment during business expansion. Byinterviewing two experts on global business strategy, Camerota (2014)presents the views of two of the most respected consultants in theworld. Therefore, their recommendation that language strategy shouldbe part of the global business strategy is validated by the dynamicsof global business environment. According to Camerota (2014), thefailure of a business to consider the language leads to negativebusiness performance due to challenges in efficiency.

Toaffect a language strategy, the accompany should consider hiringemployees who have excellent language skills. This is inconsideration with the language needs of the business in the globalcontext. According to Camerota (2014), a company should beencouraging their employees to have basic knowledge of English, andnot necessarily mastery of the language. As argued by the twoexperts, it is evident that most of the businesses in the world haveEnglish as their language. Therefore, businesses should extensivelyexplore the global business environment and understand the languageneeds that their business entails (Scarlett &amp Koslow, 2012).Based on this understanding, a business should then formulateinternational expansion strategy that includes language as part ofthe strategy. In this regard, most employees should acquire thebasics of the foreign language, especially the English language thatis growing to be a primarylingua Franca in the environment of global business.

Inthe formulation of a language strategy for a global business, theplan should start with the top management. According to Neeley, thelanguage strategy should cascade to the employees from the topmanagement and should be tied to the vision of the company (Camerota,2014). This is because the top managers are the ones involved inmaking the most significant business strategies for the globalbusiness (Peng, 2010). In addition, Camerota reports that managersare the ones who are responsible for the cultural skills and thelanguage abilities of the companies they lead. For all strategiesthat a company engages in, the global outlook should be considered byconsidering the language implications of the global business(Scarlett &amp Koslow, 2012). Therefore, every organization withglobal business should have a language strategy in order to excel inits adapting to the global business environment.


Camerota,C. (2014). WhyGlobal Businesses Need ALanguage&nbspStrategy. RetrievedFrom,&lt 30, 2014

Peng,M. (2010). Global Business.Stamford: CengageLearning

Scarlett,R.H., &amp Koslow, L.E. (2012). GlobalBusiness. New York: Routledge