Let us (not) speak Finnish! On language, power relations and ambivalence

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In this chapter, I argue that meaningful language-sensitive analysis in international business studies entails that we acknowledge the ambivalence that characterizes language relations. Language is intimately connected to power and resistance and a focus on how languages operate separately and together gives us opportunities to dwell into the in-built tensions created by multiple languages in social interaction. To illustrate my argument, I first discuss problematics of strategic decisions in organizations from the point of view of language choice and highlight the contextual and power-laden nature of language. I then move onto the individual level, reflect on my own experiences, and consider languages as a question of academic identity. Ambivalence is present in both examples: they are characterized by tensions, uncertainty, and mixed feelings.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUnderstanding the Dynamics of Language and Multilingualism in Professional Contexts : Advances in Language-Sensitive Management Research
EditorsPhilippe Lecomte, Mary Vigier, Claudine Gaibrois, Betty Beeler
Number of pages14
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9781789906776
ISBN (Electronic)9781789906783
Publication statusPublished - 2023
MoE publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • 512 Business and Management
  • international business
  • language
  • power
  • resistance
  • ambivalence
  • strategy
  • identity


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