Discourses of globalization in approaches to intercultural business training

Zotzmann, Karin (2011) Discourses of globalization in approaches to intercultural business training. In, Lavanchy, Anne, Dervin, Fred and Gajardo, Anahy (eds.) Politics of Interculturality. Cambridge, GB, Cambridge Scholars Press, 153-172.


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This chapter presents a discourse analytical investigation of the academic discipline of Intercultural Business Communication (IBC), a field that emerged in the 1980s in response to the forces of ‘globalization’ and that aims to develop intercultural competencies for a (mainly) white collar workforce. Authors in this area maintain that cultural differences will persist despite the homogenizing effects of economic internationalization and have to be addressed if the consequences for international business endeavours are to be controlled and put to one’s own advantage.
The analysis of a corpus of twenty-four prominent academic articles published in the field in Germany shows that the authors derive the legitimization of their academic and professional endeavor from discourses of ‘globalization’. While the nature, causality, effects and even existence of ‘globalization’ are highly contentious and heatedly debated, the texts in this corpus commonly draw upon popular neoliberal perspectives of international economic processes and disregard sociological and political debates about this issue. On the basis of this analysis, two claims will be put forward. Firstly: Even though any approach to intercultural education and training carries particular political and ethical values, the adoption of a neoliberal perspective is adverse to the objectives of improved communication, understanding and tolerance due to its underlying social Darwinist assumptions. This, secondly, means that any approach to intercultural business communication and training has to go beyond simplistic notions of international economic processes and become reflexive of the ways in which linguistic forms produce or reproduce specific representations of socio-economic change and invite particular forms of action.

Item Type: Book Section
Alternative titles: Lavanchy, Anne; Dervin, Fred and Gajardo, Anahy
Keywords: intercultural education; globalization; discourse analysis; reflexivity
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Humanities
ePrint ID: 178193
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2011 11:46
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 13:34
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/178193

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