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Knowledge Management in Multilingual Areas: Practical Recommendations for SMEs

  • Elena Chiocchetti
Part of the Communicating in Professions and Organizations book series (PSPOD)

Abstract

This chapter addresses multilingual communication and knowledge management, focusing on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) rather than on large international corporations. We study SMEs located in a historically bilingual region, in this case the Province of Bolzano (South Tyrol) in Northern Italy, and observe how the language competences of the population and the bilingual environment affect the strategies adopted by local SMEs for their internal knowledge management and external communication. In addition, we assess whether the SMEs fully exploit the potential competitive advantage of mastering two or more languages (Lechner & Moroder, 2010, 25) in the era of globalized markets. Based on our research results, we then propose a set of practical strategies, requiring limited financial investments, that can be implemented by South Tyrolean SMEs — but also by enterprises in other bilingual areas – to address current challenges. Several of these strategies are also useful for SMEs located in monolingual regions, particularly if they employ multilingual staff.

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© Elena Chiocchetti 2016

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  • Elena Chiocchetti

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