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Small Business Research Centre seminar: "The world comes to us" - dealing with unexpected language diversity in a UK SME

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Time: 1.00pm - 2.00pm
Venue: Room 3024, Kingston Business School, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB
Price: free
Speaker(s): Professor John Blenkinsopp (Northumbria University)

Small Business Research Centre seminar: "The world comes to us

All are welcome to join this Small Business Research Seminar, in which we are pleased to host Prof. John Blenkinsopp.

Seminar Abstract

This paper reports a case study of how a UK-based SME dealt with the HR issues arising from language diversity, linked to its rapid shift from an essentially monolingual workplace to one with a workforce with 14 different native languages. Language diversity had implications for recruitment, selection, training, health and safety, as well as line management practices, and the firm responded by developing language policy, based on the use of English as a common corporate language. Although the policy was ostensibly both simple and strict in its application, our findings show that in practice both managers and workers adopted a nuanced and pragmatic approach to handling language issues. How managers handle language diversity has major implications for individuals, organisations and wider society, as the workplace is one of the key sites at which migrants could develop their language skills in ways that facilitate successful integration into their new country.  

About the speaker

John Blenkinsopp is Professor of Work & Organisational Psychology, and co-convenor of the Sustainable Working Futures (SWiFt) research group at Northumbria University. His diverse lines of research are linked by an interest in how people make sense of work and the workplace. He has published extensively on whistleblowing, and on careers, work and well-being. Before becoming an academic John worked as an HR professional in the NHS.

All welcome!

For further information about this event:

Contact: Hang Do
Email: H.Do@kingston.ac.uk

Directions

Directions to Room 3024, Kingston Business School, Kingston Hill campus, Kingston Hill, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey KT2 7LB:

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