The Role of Language in the International Business Communication : A case study on the impact of linguistic diversity on the internationalization and international business relationships of startups
Stuk, Anna (2023)
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Entrepreneurial innovative, proactive and risk-seeking behavior leads to fast internationalization of startups. Even though they have limited access to resources, young, small enterprises internationalize quickly, which leads to facing linguistic challenges in foreign markets. Based on the case study of two German companies, the challenges of language diversity of startups were analyzed. In focus of this study are different challenges caused by linguistic diversity, such as difficulty of establishing a common language, comprehension problems due to inadequate translation, challenges in using varying dialects and the potential concentration of power in the hands of those with superior language proficiency. Even though startups tend to internationalize quickly, they partially consider language proximity when selecting markets. It became evident that startups heavily rely on BELF, nevertheless the importance of languages spoken by customers cannot be ignored. Furthermore, even though the startups have limited access to resources, there is an example that they still invest in building the team with relevant language skills because they prioritize adapting to customers’ languages. Using technology to enhance multilingual comprehension is also an important part of how startups deal with language diversity.
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