Language standardization in sociolinguistics and international business: Theory and practice across the table

Andrew Linn, Guro Refsum Sanden, Rebecca Piekkari

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter addresses the issue of language standardization from two perspectives, bringing together a theoretical perspective offered by the discipline of sociolinguistics with a practical example from international business. We introduce the broad concept of standardization and embed the study of language standardization in the wider discussion of standards as a means of control across society. We analyze the language policy and practice of the Danish multinational, Grundfos, and use it as a “sociolinguistic laboratory” to “test” the theory of language standardization initially elaborated by Einar Haugen to explain the history of modern Norwegian. The table is then turned and a model from international business by Piekkari, Welch and Welch is used to illuminate recent Norwegian language planning. It is found that the Grundfos case works well with the Haugen model, and the international business model provides a valuable practical lesson for national language planners, both showing that a “comparative standardology” is a valuable undertaking. More voices “at the table” will allow both theory and practice to be further refined and for the role of standards across society to be better understood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEnglish in Business and Commerce
Place of PublicationBerlin, Boston
Pages19-45
Number of pages27
ISBN (Electronic)9781501506833
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book

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