When Distance Is Good: A Construal Level Perspective on Perceptions of Inclusive International Language Use

Virtual work has become an increasingly important part of the international business environment. In particular, two components of virtual work; workplace mobility and distributed work, depicting physical and psychological distance to the workplace, have gained substantial scholarly attention. However, while the main stream of the international business literature, studying global virtual teams, has used mobility and distribution as predictors for negative work outcomes, there are indications that virtual work can have positive implications for the organization. In this study, we explore how workplace mobility and distributed work can affect employees’ perceptions of their colleagues and of managerial activities. More specifically, we focus on inclusive language use by managers and employees since this is a theme of growing interest in international business research. Relying on responses from 676 individuals from five Danish multicultural business organizations, we demonstrate a positive association between workplace mobility and perceptions of employees’ openness to language diversity as well as between distributed work and perceptions of consistent common corporate language at management level. This is consistent with construal level theory predicting that distance between employees and the organization will lead to more objective and goal-oriented perceptions whereas individuals that are more emerged in organizational social life will view issues more in relation to goal irrelevant factors

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APA-Format Citation

Klitmøller, A., & Lauring, J. (2016). When distance is good: A construal level perspective on perceptions of inclusive international language use. International Business Review, 25(1), 276-285.