Multinational Corporations as Cultural Translators: Interpreting Difference in Diversity and Inclusion
Keywords:Cultural translation, International business, Diversity, Inclusion, Multinational corporations, MNCs
This article brings Translation Studies and Language-Sensitive International Business Studies into sustained and in-depth critical conversation through an investigation into how multinational corporations (MNCs) represent and culturally translate discourses of diversity and inclusion (D&I). Grounded in a discrete textual analytical investigation of MNC approaches to D&I, the authors use a skeptical interpretive perspective to examine D&I video content published on MNC group websites. The study points towards the imposition of a common corporate language as an act of mediation on the part of parent companies. D&I discourse remains ambiguous and attempts to reach multiple audiences simultaneously. While the primary audience appears to be job applicants, the use of language also demonstrates a sensitivity to the needs and expectations of business-facing audiences, including customers, investors, and shareholders. Interdisciplinary in character, this article employs the concept of cultural translation as a critical lens through which to demonstrate how positional power shapes the representation of D&I discourse published on MNC websites. By extending understandings of the role and value of cultural translation in an MNC setting, the authors demonstrate the value of continued expansion of the field through enhanced comparative analysis of MNC self-perception with regard to D&I, versus published representations of the same.
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