Corporate Linguistic Rights through the Prism of Company Linguistic Identity Capital

Corporate Linguistic Rights through the Prism of Company Linguistic Identity Capital

Magdalena Bielenia-Grajewska (University of Gdansk, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6042-7.ch060
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Abstract

The aim of this chapter is to draw the attention of the readers to the linguistic side of modern organizations. Taking into account modern companies that consist of workers and stakeholders representing different cultures and speaking various languages, the notion of linguistic liberties within a corporate setting requires deeper consideration. To study corporate linguistic rights and their implications, the concept of company linguistic identity capital has been created and discussed.
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Introduction

Since corporate human capital encompasses employees and stakeholders of different cultures, identities and communication styles, the place of work in the twenty-first century is not only dynamic but also challenging. To describe this complexity, the notion of super-diversity can be used since it takes into account the interplay of various variables and their dynamic mutual influence, such as the country of origin (including ethnicity, national language, religion, regional and local identity, cultural values and practises), migration channel (with notions such as, gendered flows, social networks, labor market niches), legal status, educational background and the access to employment (Vertovec, 2007). The above-mentioned elements play an important role in creating and sustaining such a corporate atmosphere that gives all the workers and stakeholders not only the right to express their views but also the opportunity to possess equal access to corporate information. At the same time, these factors may lead to communication interference and information shortage. Thus, the growing role of diversified organizational human capital makes the discussion on human rights a crucial element of any corporate policy. The importance of profit organizations in the current debate on human rights is also connected with the globalization of international trade and investment which has reduced the economic power of governments and, simultaneously, increased the role of transnational companies (Ewing, 2004). Moreover, modern economics is characterized by very intense human flows, with migration on the international level being the determinant not only of macro-agents of economic reality but also of the meso- and micro-ones. For example, immigration as such shapes the situation of host countries as far as their work capacity and competitiveness are concerned. At the more individual level, such factors as low economic growth and high unemployment may lead to the hostility to strangers (Lenhart & Münz, 1999). Consequently, the antipathy to newcomers is visible not only in the so-called individual determinants but also in the broader context characteristics, such as the economic development of the host country (Wallace, 1999). Thus, modern companies, being an active link between the state and the individual, should opt for such corporate policies that would enable every participant in the economic life to benefit from diversity and, in the long run, lead to the sustainable development of national economies.

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