- Princeton University Press
The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations
- Tsedal Neeley
- Princeton University Press
- 9.2 X 6.3 X 0.9 inches
- 1.05 pounds
- Business & Economics > Organizational Behavior
For nearly three decades, English has been the lingua franca of cross-border organizations, yet studies on corporate language strategies and their importance for globalization have been scarce. In The Language of Global Success, Tsedal Neeley provides an in-depth look at a single organization--the high-tech giant Rakuten--in the five years following its English lingua franca mandate. Neeley's behind-the-scenes account explores how language shapes the ways in which employees who work in global organizations communicate and negotiate linguistic and cultural differences.
Drawing on 650 interviews conducted across Rakuten's locations in Brazil, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and the United States, Neeley argues that an organization's lingua franca is the catalyst by which all employees become some kind of expat--someone detached from their mother tongue or home culture. Through her unfettered access to the inner workings of Rakuten, she reveals three distinct social groups: linguistic expats, who live in their home country yet have to give up their native language in the workplace; cultural expats, or native speakers of the lingua franca, who struggle with organizational values that are more easily transmitted after language barriers are removed; and finally linguistic-cultural expats, who, while native to neither the lingua franca nor the organization's home culture, surprisingly have the easiest time adjusting to language changes. Neeley demonstrates that language can serve as the conduit for an unfamiliar culture, often in unexpected ways, and that there are lessons to be learned for all global companies as they confront language and culture challenges.
Examining the strategic use of language by one international corporation, The Language of Global Success uncovers how all organizations might integrate language effectively to tap into the promise of globalization.
Tsedal Neeley is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration and Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Research Strategy at the Harvard Business School. Her work focuses on how leaders can scale their organizations by developing and implementing global and digital strategies. She regularly advises top leaders who are embarking on virtual work and large scale-change that involves global expansion, digital transformation, and becoming more agile.
Her book, Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere (2021, Harper Collins Business), provides remote workers and leaders with the best practices necessary to perform at the highest levels in their organizations. Her award-winning book, The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations chronicles the behind-the-scenes globalization process of a company over the course of five years. She has also published extensively in leading scholarly and practitioner-oriented outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of International Business, Strategic Management Journal and Harvard Business Review, and her work has been widely covered in media outlets such as BBC, CNN, Financial Times, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist. Her HBS case, Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, is one of the most used cases worldwide on the subject of virtual work.
Tsedal co-chairs the executive offering, Leading Global Businesses, which helps top leaders develop emerging and mature market strategies in a global and increasingly digital economy. She also teaches extensively in executive programs such as the Harvard Business Analytics Program. She has previously been the course head for the first-year required Leadership and Organizational Behavior course in the MBA program that focuses on how to lead effectively; the curriculum addresses group behavior and performance, organization design, change and how to align people behind a common vision.
Prior to her academic career, Tsedal spent ten years working for companies like Lucent Technologies and The Forum Corporation in various roles, including strategies for global customer experience, 360-degree performance software management systems, sales force/sales management development, and business flow analysis for telecommunication infrastructures. A sought-after speaker with extensive international experience, she is fluent in four languages. She holds a patent for her software simulation on global collaboration and is a member of Rakuten’s Advisory Board.
Tsedal is a recipient of the prestigious Charles M. Williams Award for Outstanding Teaching in Executive Education and the Greenhill Award for outstanding contributions to Harvard Business School (two-time recipient). She serves on the Board of Directors of Brightcove, Brown Capital Management, Harvard Business Publishing and the Partnership Inc.
Tsedal received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in Management Science and Engineering, specializing in Work, Technology and Organizations. Tsedal was named to Thinkers50 2018 On the Radar list for making lasting contributions to management, honored as a Stanford Distinguished Alumnus Scholar and was a Stanford University School of Engineering Lieberman award recipient for excellence in teaching and research.
Source: Harvard Business School
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