Cultural and language skills as resources for boundary spanning within the MNC

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Barner-Rasmussen W, Ehrnrooth M, Koveshnikov A, Makela K
Publication year: 2014
Journal: Journal of International Business Studies
Journal acronym: J INT BUS STUD
Volume number: 45
Issue number: 7
Start page: 886
End page: 905
Number of pages: 20
ISSN: 0047-2506
eISSN: 1478-6990


We examine the role of cultural and language skills as resources for individuals' boundary spanning ability in multinational corporations. Our combined qualitative and quantitative analysis shows that cultural and language skills influence the extent to which individual boundary spanners perform four functions: exchanging, linking, facilitating, and intervening. Boundary spanners with both cultural and language skills perform more functions than those with only cultural skills, and language skills are critical for performing the most demanding functions. Key boundary spanners have properties that potentially make them not only valuable organizational human capital, but also rare and difficult to imitate. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.


Boundary spanners, cultural skills, language (language design, silent language, translation), language skills, multinational corporations (MNCs)

Last updated on 2020-24-09 at 06:45