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Talk your way out of Belgium!: A study on multilingualism in Belgium and its impact on an SME’s internationalisation
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics, Department of Organisation and Entrepreneurship.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis aims to connect the fields of multilingualism and internationalisation by studying language strategies of SMEs located in Belgium. Thereby the access to foreign networks in relation to internationalisation theories and the role of language capabilities and multilingualism is examined. This combination of different academic fields in international business and linguistics has previously not been studied satisfyingly and this research thus furthermore provides theoretical and managerial implications in this matter. Hence, this study addresses the briefly presented knowledge gap by answering the research question: What effect does the multilingualism in Belgium have on an SME’s internationalisation? The two following sub-research questions have been raised additionally to ensure the ability to answer the main research question: 1. What is the impact of the multilingualism in Belgium on an SME’s liability of foreignness when going international? 2. How does a language strategy support an SME’s internationalisation process and create a multilingual capability? Empirical data is collected both qualitatively by interviewing three Belgian SMEs and quantitatively by analysing secondary data of 30 Belgian company websites and their vacancy job postings, to provide answers to these questions. The findings are analysed by applying a conceptual framework, which was created by the authors. The study’s findings summarise the presence of multiple individual language capabilities and highlight the lack and importance of institutionalising these in the SME. This step is vital to successfully access foreign networks and overcome liability of foreignness. Moreover, firm capabilities in relation to the SME’s industry are significant for the accurate implementation of a language strategy. Besides, the results show a crucial role of English in international business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 83
Keywords [en]
Internationalisation, internationalisation theories, SME, multilingualism, language strategy, capabilities, language capabilities, Belgium
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-75538OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-75538DiVA, id: diva2:1216165
Subject / course
Business Administration - Marketing
Educational program
International Business Strategy, Master Programme 60 credits
Presentation
2018-05-28, Kalmar, 12:00 (English)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-12 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-12Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf