A Review of Language-Sensitive Research in International Business: A Multi-Paradigmatic Reading

Authors

  • Rebecca Piekkari Fellow, Academy of International Business; Aalto University, Finland
  • Claudine Gaibrois University of St Gallen, Switzerland
  • Marjana Johansson University of Glasgow, Unied Kingdom

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.55482/jcim.2022.32906

Abstract

This paper reviews language-sensitive research in International Business (IB) by asking how paradigmatic positions affect knowledge production in this field of study. Paradigms refer to the researchers’ assumptions about how research should be conducted and reported. Because they affect the theoretical aim and framing of a study, the data sources, and analysis techniques used, paradigms ultimately shape the kind of knowledge produced. To study how paradigmatic choices influence the knowledge produced, we compared 299 publications in the field of language-sensitive research with 229 publications in mainstream IB by determining the paradigmatic position from which each study had been conducted. Our analysis shows that the paradigmatic diversity of language-sensitive research exceeds that of mainstream IB. Although positivism still dominates language-sensitive research in IB, interpretivist and critical studies have accounted for a growing proportion of research over the years and exceed those in mainstream IB research. We suggest that the norms of the specific research field and of academia in general strongly influence paradigmatic choices, and thus the kind of knowledge researchers produce. The review opens up a novel perspective on knowledge production within language-sensitive IB research.

Author Biographies

Rebecca Piekkari, Fellow, Academy of International Business; Aalto University, Finland

Rebecca Piekkari (PhD, Helsinki School of Economics) is Marcus Wallenberg Chair of International business at Aalto University School of Business in Finland. Her research interests focus on language(s) in the field of International Business (IB). Her most recent work deals with advancing translation as a conceptual approach in IB research. In addition to language, she has published on qualitative research methods, diversity and inclusion as well as the changing organizational architecture of multinational corporations. Her work has appeared in leading management and IB journals such as Academy of Management Review, Journal of International Business Studies, Journal of Management Studies, Journal of World Business, Organization Studies and Organizational Research Methods. She has also co-authored books and edited volumes (e.g., Handbook of Qualitative Research Methods for International Business, 2004; Rethinking the Case Study in International Business and Management Research, 2011; Language in International Business: The Multilingual Reality of Global Business Expansion, 2014). She is Fellow of the Academy of International Business (AIB) and European International Business Academy (EIBA).

Claudine Gaibrois, University of St Gallen, Switzerland

Claudine Gaibrois (PhD, University of St Gallen) is a Lecturer at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (Switzerland), and an External Lecturer at the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) as well as at the Ecole de Management Strasbourg (France). Her research focuses on diversity, particularly on the diversity of languages and cultures, power and participation. Claudine’s current research includes investigating the role of language in migrants’ workplace experiences, language diversity and cultural stereotyping, gendered aspects of knowledge production in language-sensitive IB research, and diversity in higher education. She has published in leading journals such as Journal of World Business, European Journal of International Management, and International Journal of Cross Cultural Management. Claudine has also co-edited the volume entitled Understanding the Dynamics of Language and Multilingualism in Professional Contexts: Advances in Language-Sensitive Management Research (2022) and the Special Issue of Critical Perspectives on International Business on “Critical Perspectives on the Management of Multilingualism in International Business” (forthcoming). Claudine was a board member of the GEM&L (Groupe d’Etudes Management et Language) and has now joined the research association’s Scientific Committee.

Marjana Johansson, University of Glasgow, Unied Kingdom

Marjana Johansson (PhD, Stockholm School of Economics) is a Senior Lecturer at the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow. Prior to joining Glasgow she worked at the University of Essex, and taught at Stockholm School of Economics and at Hanken School of Economics in Helsinki. Marjana’s research interests focus on organizational inequalities, diversity and inclusion, and intersectionality. Current and recent research includes examining gendered aspects of knowledge production in language-sensitive IB research, the dynamics of class and gender in academia, and intersectional analyses of professional work. She has published in leading journals such as Journal of International Business Studies, Human Relations, Gender, Work & Organization, and Organization. She is a member of the GEM&L Advisory Board.

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Published

2022-06-30

How to Cite

Piekkari, R., Gaibrois, C., & Johansson, M. (2022). A Review of Language-Sensitive Research in International Business: A Multi-Paradigmatic Reading. Journal of Comparative International Management, 25(1), 144–174. https://doi.org/10.55482/jcim.2022.32906

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Research Articles