The English language is the workhorse of international business activities. The scale and scope of commercial activities across national borders make linguistic expertise – most notably the sophisticated use of English – more, rather than less, precious in the future. In spite of the significance now ascribed to Anglophone proficiency, we know little about what assumptions about a strong command of English as a prerequisite for career success does to people. There is a gap between the expectation to simply function in English and the apprehension that one’s English expression is insufficient to present oneself in the best possible professional light – often a problem for non-native speakers though native speakers have trouble, too. In this presentation Sierk Horn argues that stereotypes about inadequate language proficiency and, connected to this, worries about looking inept for the world of work add extra cognitive and emotional pressure. Such suspicions appear to seriously divert cognitive resources. Those affected are more easily frustrated and, as a consequence, appear to perform more poorly. He goes on to discuss what organisations can do about spill-over effects brought about by expectations to compete in Anglophone settings.
18.30 Begrüßung durch Prof. (FH) Dr. Markus Ilg
18.35 Vortrag Prof. Dr. Sierk Horn
anschließend Fachdiskussion mit Prof.(FH) Dr. Falko Wilms
Sierk A. Horn is Professor of Business Management at FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences. Before that he was Professor of the economy of Japan at the Munich School of Management, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern Languages and Habilitation on Cross-cultural Management from Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany. Much of his work takes the perspective of resilience of individuals and organisations and sits at the juncture of social psychology, language, and international management. He is a regular commentator on how organisations tackle fragile environments.