Analysis of communications in multinational enterprises by means of electronic communication media using the blog as an example
More and more, multinational enterprises are emerging in the course of globalization. Mergers, acquisitions and other business combinations result in heterogeneous corporate conglomerates whose integration proves to be increasingly difficult. In addition to the diversity of national cultural attributes, which extend well beyond language aspects, a wide variety of corporate cultures exist that do not necessarily have a direct relationship to regional diversity. Using the communication medium blog as an example, this PhD project aims to pinpoint the difficulties resulting from cultural diversity and examine the influence that the blog medium can have upon the integration process. The inventory of all the blogs offered by a Franco-American telecommunication company will serve as a corpus for the project. As a medium, the blog offers a comprehensive basis for a scientific analysis due to its written form, its interactivity, and the availability of large numbers of contributions accrued over longer periods of time. The subject will initially be located within the scope of communication sciences and, in particular, in the realm of interpersonal communication. Furthermore, this study intends to describe how the blog, as a medium, can be scientifically classified and defined within the range of technically mediated interpersonal communication as well as within the scope of computer-mediated interpersonal communication. In addition to the interpersonal communication aspect, the blog, as a medium, will also be discussed in relation to the field of communication with regard to multinational organizations and against the background of electronic enterprise communication. Language is a key element of any communication medium. In the form of written language, the blog, as a medium, will also be discussed from a linguistic perspective within the context of semiotics. Due to the fact that the corpus of communication acts, to be analysed by this study, were rendered in the corporate language English, this study will be conducted using “English as Lingua Franca” research (ELF). In its methodology the Ph.D. project will be based on two main approaches. On the one hand, quantitative aspects will be analysed, such as the number of blog participants, frequency of blog use, and the interaction of participants among themselves, employing the standard methods of empirical social research. On the other hand, the quality of blog contributions in their semantic, syntactic, and pragmatic dimension will be considered. One of the project’s goals is to demonstrate the influence of internal electronic enterprise communication media in cross-hierarchical multinational intercultural communication.