Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …


Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

IMPACT FACTOR 2017: 0.404
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.727

CiteScore 2017: 1.14

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.546
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.638

See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 33, Issue 1-2


Linguistic diversity in the international workplace: Language ideologies and processes of exclusion

Dorte Lønsmann
  • Department of International Business Communication, Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-01-02 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0005


This article draws on a study of language choice and language ideologies in an international company in Denmark. It focuses on the linguistic and social challenges that are related to the diversity of language competences among employees in the modern workplace. Research on multilingualism at work has shown that employees may be excluded from informal interactions and from access to power structures on the basis of language skills in the company’s language(s). The data discussed here show that in the modern workplace, employees’ linguistic competences are diverse; international employees often have competence in the company’s lingua franca but lack skills in the local language while some ‘local’ employees lack competence in the corporate language (typically English). This can lead to the sociolinguistic exclusion of either group. In conclusion, the article relates these processes of exclusion to two language ideologies: one about an essential connection between language and nation and one about a hierarchy of English users.

Keywords: linguistic diversity; language ideologies; social identity theory; multilingual workplaces; social exclusion

About the article

Published Online: 2014-01-02

Published in Print: 2014-01-01

Citation Information: Multilingua, Volume 33, Issue 1-2, Pages 89–116, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/multi-2014-0005.

Export Citation

©2014 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston.Get Permission

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Anne Kankaanranta, Päivi Karhunen, and Leena Louhiala-Salminen
Multilingua, 2018, Volume 37, Number 4, Page 331
Anne Kari Bjørge, Alexander Madsen Sandvik, and Sunniva Whittaker
Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 2017, Volume 22, Number 3, Page 401
Dorte Lønsmann
International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2017, Volume 17, Number 1, Page 101
Dorte Lønsmann
Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 2015, Volume 36, Number 4, Page 339
Spencer Hazel
Language and Intercultural Communication, 2015, Volume 15, Number 1, Page 141

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in