This paper investigates the use of English as corporate language in the everyday global knowledge work of a business practitioner over his 15-year career. The data, collected over the practitioner's career, include both authentic data such as recordings of work practices and email communication, as well as interviews and ethnographic field notes. Applying content and genre analysis, we investigate how the practitioner's use of different genres of English as corporate language changes over time and how his experiences follow suit, enabling agency, participation and engagement in the global knowledge economy. While at the beginning of his career the trainee practitioner produces backstage genres only, as a manager he needs to navigate between official, frontstage genres and the mixed genres falling between the two extremes. Over his 15-year career the novice practitioner becomes a global knowledge worker who is empowered by his competence in English as corporate language.
- corporate language
- lingua franca
- knowledge work
- language-sensitive management research
- authentic text data