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Professional Communication in a Global Business Context: The Notion of Global Communicative Competence

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2 Author(s)
Louhiala-Salminen, L. ; Sch. of Econ., Aalto Univ., Helsinki, Finland ; Kankaanranta, A.

On the basis of an extensive survey study conducted among business professionals engaging in global communication, this paper discusses communicative competence. Rapid changes in work environments, particularly advancing globalization and new technology, have highlighted the need for expanding our knowledge of the elements that constitute communicative competence in global encounters. Competence has been investigated by several researchers; however, the language perspective, particularly the language used for international communication, that is, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), has largely been ignored. Our findings indicate that global communicative competence (GCC) consists of three layers: multicultural competence, competence in English as a Business Lingua Franca (BELF) and the communicator's business know-how. Based on our findings, we present a model for GCC, which includes language as a key component. Implications for theory, practice, and education include the need for a multidisciplinary approach and the acknowledgement of ELF/BELF as the language of global interaction. ELF IBELF assumes a shared "core" of the English language, but focuses on interactional skills, rapport building, and the ability to ask for and provide clarifications.

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:54 ,  Issue: 3 )