Culture, Language and Productivity in the Workplace within the BRICS Nations

Keywords: language and culture; language planning; language policy; workplace; productivity; Hofstede; BRICS


The changing economic environment globally carries challenges and opportunities for business. Cross-cultural environments and financial integration call for greater understanding of the workplace. The authors assess the usage and status of language and culture in workplaces within the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) countries through a light touch survey to assist in framing further and deeper research activities. The objective is to develop a suitable research framework regarding the place of language and culture in the workplace in multilingual and multicultural contexts. The authors argue for the inclusion of a cultural dimension linked to multilingual strategies in the workplace. The inextricable link between language and culture is explored in this article. It is suggested that orality and the way we pass on information in the workplace should be considered when encouraging productivity in the multilingual, multicultural workplace in order to create a sense of integration and belonging rather than one of alienation.