Language-based discrimination in multilingual organizations: A comparative study of migrant professionals’ experiences across physical and virtual spaces

Hilla Back*, Rebecca Piekkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

We compare migrant professionals’ experiences of language-based discrimination across physical and virtual spaces. The minority status of these professionals stems from their foreign origin and lack of proficiency in the local language of their new country of residence. We conducted a case study of a multinational corporation after a shift to remote work triggered by COVID-19. Our findings indicate that while language-based discrimination takes more interpersonal and overt forms in physical spaces, it becomes more organizational and subtle in virtual spaces. We shed light on how technology dependency and dispersion affect the forms and experiences of language-based discrimination in different spaces. Our contribution lies in defining language-based discrimination as a construct of modern discrimination, which has received scant attention in previous research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101518
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of World Business
Volume59
Issue number3
Early online date13 Feb 2024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Language diversity
  • Language-based discrimination
  • Migrant professional
  • Minorities
  • Modern discrimination
  • Multinational corporation, multilingual organization
  • Virtual work

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