Articles

From Language Learner to Multicultural Manager

D. SHANAHAN

European Management Journal

June 1996, vol. 14, n°3, pp.315-320

Departments: Languages & Cultures


In today's rapidly globalizing world of business and management, language skills with real world applications have become essential. Communicative competence has established itself as the goal of most progressive language learning programs, but teachers and learners have begun to ask what lies beyond communicative competence? What must the truly exceptionally qualified, top-level international manager be able to do in the international setting? The answer lies in the relationship that exists between the culture - both with respect to culture's ability to facilitate language learning, and with respect to the manager's ability to adopt cultural nuances which make his or her ‘foreigness’ transparent to listeners. The crossing of this final threshold characterizes the manager who has begun to live psychologically in two cultures, and who is thus prepared to move on into the level of metaskills which are the hallmark of the truly multicultural manager.


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