Knowledge sharing in a non-native language context : challenges and strategies
Ahmad, Farhan (2016)
Journal of Information Science
This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for Your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Knowledge sharing is a language-based activity. With the rise of multilingual workforces and the adoption of common corporate languages such as English, knowledge sharing is happening in non-native language contexts more than ever before. This paper explores the challenges and strategies of knowledge sharing in a non-native language at the individual level. For this purpose, an exploratory case study was conducted in a multinational organization. Results show that the use of a non-native language can make knowledge sharing an ambiguous and costly process, eroding some of the benefits of knowledge sharing. It was found that employees adopt three different strategies to deal with problems in the knowledge-sharing process caused by the use of a nonnative language. These strategies—namely discourse adjustment, language adjustment, and media adjustment—play an important role in the successful exchange of knowledge between linguistically diverse individuals.