The emotional benefits and performance costs of building a psychologically safe language climate in MNCs

Niina Nurmi, Johanna Koroma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

How employees cope with the requirement to work in a foreign language has received little scholarly attention. To narrow this gap, we conducted an ethnographic study at KONE and NOKIA, companies using English as a lingua franca. Results indicate that employees who are non-native lingua franca speakers may cope collectively with the language demands by building a psychologically safe language climate. Although benefitting them emotionally, psychologically safe language climate may simplify the lingua franca and, in turn, decrease innovative performance. Our findings contribute to research on language-coping mechanisms and psychological safety in adding language as a potential barrier to innovativeness.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101093
JournalJournal of World Business
Volume55
Issue number4
Early online date13 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Lingua-franca mandate
  • Stress
  • Coping
  • Psychological safety
  • Communication climate
  • Psychologically safe language climate
  • Global teams
  • Innovativeness

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