Fitnete G. Martinaj


The English language is considered the global business language and a mutual language to provide communication and understanding in business. Learning foreign languages and implementing language management strategies enable cross-cultural communication, business growth and career enhancement. Drawing on this theory of business communication, this study explores the effects of language proficiency in business operations of Kosovan small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which intend to become integrated globally, by using mixed methods and the interpretation of business managers (Sample 1, N = 5), two pilot tests (Sample 2, N = 7 and N = 29) and an online questionnaire (Sample 3, N = 139). The role of English in business communication was interrelated with an analysis of other foreign languages, along with the implementation of language strategies and the effect of language skills on career development. This squares well with the proposition that these three aspects are consistent in their contribution to effective communication in business and convey richness on both an individual and a company level. The findings offer a new perspective on the effects of using foreign languages in business communication, which consequently contributes to internationalization, multilingualism and cross-cultural communication.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


English language; foreign languages; language management strategies; career development; cross-cultural business communication

Full Text:



Bilingua. (2017). Six benefits of learning a foreign language for career growth. Retrieved October 12, 2017 from https://bilingua.io/benefits-learning-a-foreign-language-career

Bloch, B. (1995). Career enhancement through foreign language skills. The International Journal of Career Management, 7(6), 15–26. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/235304973_Career_enhancement_through_foreign_language_skills

Buchholz, S., Hofäcker D., & Blossfeld H.-P. (2006). Globalization, accelerating economic change and late careers: A theoretical framework. In H. P. Blossfeld, S. Buchholz, & D. Hofäcker (Eds.), Globalization, uncertainty and late careers in society (pp.1–24). Routledge. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/283058893_Globalization_accelerating_economic_change_and_late_careers_A_theoretical_framework

Charles, M. (2007). Language matters in global communication. Journal of Business Communication, 44(3), 260–282. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247762522_Language_Matters_in_Global_CommunicationArticle_Based_on_ORA_Lecture_October_2006

Creswell, J. W., & Plano Clark, V. L. (2018). Designing and conducting mixed methods research, (3rd ed.). SAGE Publications. https://www.academia.edu/50892713/_Creswell_John_W_Clark_Vicki_L_Plano_Designing_a_pdf

Davidsson, P., & Honig, B. (2003). The role of social and human capital among nascent entrepreneurs. Journal of Business Venturing, 18(3), 30–31.

Dhir, K. S., & Gòkè-Paríolá, A. (2002). The case for language policies in multinational corporations. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 7(4), 241–251.

Ergen, E. (2010). A case study on informal communication network within an organization. Workplace Communication, 3(1), 25–31.

Erkkila, L. (2010). Internal communication issues in a multinational company. https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/16024/Erkkila_Linda.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

European Commission. (2013). Entrepreneurship 2020 action plan: Reigniting the entrepreneurial spirit in Europe. European Commission Brussels. https://eurlex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=COM:2012:0795:FIN:EN:PDF

European Commission. (2018). Commission staff working document: Report 2018 for Kosovo. Strasbourg, France: European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/neighbourhood-enlargement/sites/near/files/20180417-kosovo-report.pdf

Feely, A. J., & Harzing, A. W. (2003). Language management in multinational companies. Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal, 10(2), 37–35 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228596920_Language_Management_in_Multinational_Companies

Ferraro, G. P. (2002). The cultural dimension of international business (4th ed.). Prentice Hall, Pearson Education. http://dspace.vnbrims.org:13000/jspui/bitstream/123456789/4554/1/THE%20CULTURAL%20DIMENSION%20OF%20INTERNATIONAL%20BUSINESS.pdf

Frankel, J., & Rose, A. K. (2002). An estimate of the effect of common currencies on trade and income. Ortley Journal of Economics, 117 (2), 437–466 https://wcfia.harvard.edu/files/wcfia/files/99_02-01_frankel.pdf

GEM. (2012). Global report. http://www.gemconsortium.org/report/48545

Grzeszczyk, K. B. (2015). Language management in international business. Implementation of strategies to bridge linguistic and cultural barriers. World Scientific News, 7, 136–159. https://paperity.org/p/262222786/language-management-in-international-business-implementation-of-strategies-to-bridge

Hagen, S. (2011). Report on language management strategies and best practice in European SMEs: The PIMLICO Project. Brussels: European Commission Directorate General for Education and Culture and Tipik Communication Agency. https://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/languages/policy/strategic-framework/documents/pimlico-full-report_en.pdf

Hagen, S., Foreman-Peck, J., Davila-Philippon, S., Nordgren, B. (2006). Effects on the European Union economy of shortages of foreign language skills in enterprise. ELAN study. A new framework strategy for multilingualism. European Commission. https://ec.europa.eu/assets/eac/languages/policy/strategic-framework/documents/elan_en.pdf

Harzing, A. W., & Feely A. J. (2008). The language barrier and its implications for HQ-subsidiary relationships. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 15(1), 49–61. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228420832_The_Language_Barrier_and_Its_Implications_for_HQ-Subsidiary_Relationships

Harzing, A. W., and Pudelko, M. (2014). Hablas vielleicht un peu la mia language? A comprehensive overview of the role of language differences in Headquarters: Subsidiary communication. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(5), 696–717.

Helliwell, J. F. (1999). Language and trade. In A. Breton, (Ed.), Exploring the economics of language (pp. 5–30), Ottawa: New Canadian Perspectives. https://www.academia.edu/21252328/Language_and_Trade

International Association of Language Commissioners. (2018). Language commissioner of Kosovo. https://languagecommissioners.org/Language-Commissioner-of-Kosovo

Jenkins, J. (2006). Points of view and blind spots: ELF and SLA. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 16(2), 138–162. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/227726166_Points_of_view_and_blind_spots_ELF_and_SLA

Johnson, A. (2009). The rise of English: e Language of globalization in China and the European Union. (Volume 22). (pp. 131–168). The Macalester/Maastricht Essays. Macalester International. http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/macintl/vol22/iss1/12

Kapur, R. (2018). Barriers to effective communication. University of Delhi. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/323794732_Barriers_to_Effective_Communication

Kohonen, V., Jaatinen, R., Kaikkonen, P., & Lehtovaara.J. (2014). Experiential learning in foreign language education. Routledge. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1874089.Experiential_Learning_in_Foreign_Language_Education

Kor, Y. (2003). Experience-based top management team competence and sustained growth. Organization Science,14(6), 707–719. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247824147_Experience-Based_Top_Management_Team_Competence_and_Sustained_Growth

Kosovo’s National Development Strategy 2016–2022 https://kosovoteam.un.org/en/97760-national-development-strategy-2016-2021-nds

Leong, F. T. L., & Hartung, P. J. (2000). Adapting to the changing multicultural context of career. In A. Collin, & R. A. Young (Eds.), The future of career, (pp. 212–227). Cambridge University Press.

Lewis, R. D. (2006). When cultures collide: Leading across cultures (3rd ed.). Nicholas Brealey International. https://www.academia.edu/5140036/When_Cultures_Collide_Leading_Across_Cultures_by_Richard_D_Lewis

Lohmann, J. (2011). Do language barriers affect trade? Economics Letters, 110(2), 159–162.

Marlina, R., & Xu, Zh. (2018). English as a lingua franca. Research gate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322976210_English_as_a_Lingua_Franca

Morreale, S. P., & Pearson, J. C. (2008). Why communication education is important: The centrality of the discipline in the 21st century. Communication Education, 57(2), 224–240. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/232924335

Musteen, M., Datta, D. K., & Butts, M. M. (2013). Do international networks and foreign market knowledge facilitate SME internationalization? Evidence from the Czech Republic. Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, 38(4), 749–774.

Neeley, T. (2012). Global business speaks English. Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2012/05/global-business-speaks-english

OECD/Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (2019). Kosovo: Small Business Act profile. https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/dd53f292-en.pdf?expires=1673946495&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=2B14FD575726F33774010E2CA9E60E02

Optum. (2015). Why communication practices are important in the workplace. Melbourne, Australia. www.optum.com.au

Pandey, M. (2014). Better English for better employment opportunities. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/264788119_Better_English_for_Better_Employment_pportunities

Pula, J. Sh., Krasniqi, A. B., & Lajqi, S. (2019). Entrepreneurial education and career choice in Kosovo. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/333974158

Riznar, I., & Rybnicek, R. (2017). Language management strategies in Austrian and Slovenian SMEs. Managing Global Transitions, 15(4), 365–378. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322248631

Rogerson-Revell, P. (2007). Using English for international business: A European case study. English for Specific Purposes, 26, 103–20. /IEBESPJPRogersonRevell.pdf

Selmier W. T. & Hoon Oh Ch. (2012). International business complexity and the internationalization of languages. Business Horizons 55, 189–200. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/229615155

Sing, C. S. (2017). English as a lingua franca in international business contexts: Pedagogical implications for the teaching of English for specific business purposes. In F. Rainer, & G. Mautner, Handbook of business communication: Linguistic approaches, (pp. 319–561). De Gruyter.

Srinivas Rao P. (2019). The role of English as a global language. Research Journal of English (RJOE). 4(1). https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334282978

Tenzer, H., Terjesen, S., & Harzing, A.W. (2017). Language in international business: A review and agenda for future research. Management International Review, 57(6), 815–854.

The US Embassy in Kosovo. (2021). Message from the Ambassador. Business, (p.1). https://xk.usembassy.gov/business/

The World Bank. (2018). The World Bank in Kosovo: Kosovo at-a-glance. https://www.worldbank.org/en/country/kosovo/overview

Truchot, C. (2002). Key aspects of the use of English in Europe. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255618049_Key_aspects_of_the_use_of_English_in_Europe

Turnbull P. W., & Welham G. F. (1985). The characteristics of European export marketing staff. European Journal of Marketing, 19(2), 31–41.

Vaara E., Tienari J., Piekkari R., & Säntti R. (2005). Language and the circuits of power in a merging multinational corporation. Journal of Management Studies, 42(3) 595–623.

Van Manen, M. (2014). Phenomenology in practice: Meaning-giving methods in phenomenological research and writing. Left Coast Press.

Zahra, S. A., & George, G. (2002). International entrepreneurship: The current status of the field and future research agenda. In M. A. Hitt, R. D. Ireland, S. M. Camp, & D. Sexton, (Eds.), Strategic entrepreneurship: Creating an integrated mindset (pp. 255–288). Blackwell Publishing.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejals.v6i2.449


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2018-2023. European Journal of Applied Linguistics Studies (ISSN 2602 - 0254 / ISSN-L 2602 - 0254). All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.