Perceptions of Language (Mis)fit at a Multilingual Workplace: The Case of the University of Vaasa

Maria Järlström, Rebecca Piekkari, Nina Pilke, Hanna Turpeinen

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


Based on a case study we identify sources and contexts of linguistic challenges that academic and university services staff perceive at a multilingual workplace. Some of these challenges produce subjective perceptions of language misfit—a concept that refers to a sense of inadequacy in the social context through which professionals communicate specialized knowledge. Professionals who experience misfit have limited language skills or their skills are inconsistent with the language policies and practices of the university and/or the region where the university is embedded. Our findings suggest that language misfit and fit form a dualistic pair of concepts which is dynamic and context-specific. We offer a contribution to person-environment (mis)fit research and the study of multilingual organizations, which has to date focused on private, for-profit organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLanguage Perceptions and Practices in Multilingual Universities
EditorsMaria Kuteeva, Kathrin Kaufhold, Niina Hynninen
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-38755-6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


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