Conference: Perspectives on Languages in International Contexts

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue Jun 20 20:37:22 UTC 2006

Management and Philology: Perspectives on Languages in International

Date: 19-Jun-2006
From: Susanne Tietze <s.tietze at>

Full Title: Management and Philology: Perspectives on Languages in
International Contexts

Date: 11-Jul-2006 - 13-Jul-2007
Location: Manchester, United Kingdom
Contact Person: Susanne Tietze
Meeting Email:

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2006

This stream is part of a conference called Critical Management Studies.
The stream explores the role of English, other languages, discourses and
professional languages on processes of international management. The field
of organisation and management studies has taken a linguistic turn, which
has placed language and language use at the centre of research and
enquiry. Language is seen as systems of meanings, which are central to the
process of constructing organisational, social and increasingly global
realities, and which are a performative, creative force. In this regard
language can be said to be the first and foremost means and source through
which the 'connecting' of different socio-cultural, institutional and
individual worlds occurs. Organisational actors draw upon such systems of
meaning to negotiate, change, shape and reproduce their respective social
contexts. These systems of meanings act as powerful ordering forces in
organisational contexts through the way they bring about objects of
knowledge, categories of social subjects, forms of self, social
relationships and also conceptual frameworks.

Critical discourse/language studies have contributed to a deepened
understanding of the role of power, privilege and worldview in the
construction of identities, of access to and exclusion from resources, of
processes of globalisation, of construction and enactment of gender and/or
professional roles.  Concomitant with this interest in such themes, the
field has developed a rich methodology to explore and analyse the use of
language as it manifests itself in the use of discourses, of rhetoric, of
metaphors and other tropes, of stories and narratives, of conversations
and talks.

However, the field nevertheless overlooks an 'odd absence'. In the light
of the interest in language and its use, it seems strange that there is no
discussion or consideration of the role and influence of languages (e.g.
the French language, the Japanese language) in general and the role of
English as the global 'lingua franca' in particular on processes of
managing and organising in an international context. While related fields,
such as international business and management studies, have made some
progress in integrating the role of languages into their research agendas,
the field of organisation and management studies has not even begun to
explore the rich field of 'languages' and their nexus of ties with the use
of discourses, stories, conversations and tropes.

The overall purpose of this steam is therefore to begin to integrate the
study of the role of languages with the study of discourses, jargons,
tropes and stories. The convenors want to work within a critical
tradition, by which we understand that language is used in a context which
is not neutral, but which rather reflects differences in status and power.

Translating these ideas into potential thematic contributions to the
stream papers might explore (either theoretically, conceptually and/or

- use and role of English in processes of organising and management

- use and role of 'other' languages in processes of organising and
management (and their interaction with English)

- the impact of languages (both as language and/or as specific discourses,
stories etc) on careers and identity construction

- the privileging of particular discourses and languages

- linguistic and discursive convergence of management knowledge and

- the use of English in management education - the non-use of other
language systems in management education

- the role and meaning of 'translation' in (international) organisational

- language strategies and language in use in international companies

- methodological papers engaging with the above topic areas, including
considerations of epistemological and ontological positions

- language/s and transfer of management knowledge

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