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Language and business : international communication strategies in Saxon small and medium-sized companies / Sylvia-Michèle Sternkopf

Inhaltsangabe:Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the German economy. Against the background of continuing globalisation, they are increasingly faced with the challenge of internationalisation. This study was designed as an empirical investigation of how well SMEs... Full description

PPN (Catalogue-ID): 772703019
Nebentitel: Doctoral thesis/Dissertation
Personen: Sternkopf, Sylvia-Michèle [VerfasserIn]
Format: eBook eBook
Language: English
Published: Hamburg, Diplomica GmbH, 2004
Edition: 1. Aufl.
Series: Economy
Hochschule: Dissertation, Technische Universität Chemnitz, 2004
Basisklassifikation: 05.20
18.04
83.71
Subjects:

Sachsen / Internationales Marketing / Kommunikations-Mix / Englisch

Wirtschaftssprache / Sprachkontakt / Sprachwandel

Formangabe: Hochschulschrift
Notes: Bibliography: Seite 354-375. - Internetquellen: Seite 375-377.
Physical Description: 1 Online-Ressource (378 Seiten), Illustrationen, Diagramme.
ISBN: 3-8324-8161-3
978-3-8324-8161-2

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520 |a Inhaltsangabe:Abstract: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are the backbone of the German economy. Against the background of continuing globalisation, they are increasingly faced with the challenge of internationalisation. This study was designed as an empirical investigation of how well SMEs in the federal state of Saxony are prepared for this task of the future, which measures they take in order to market their products and services in the global marketplace, and it tries to identify their strengths and weaknesses in this respect. The very nature of this thesis is thus a truly interdisciplinary approach, investigating marketing aspects as well as linguistic factors. The main focus was on the language small and medium-sized companies use for their international communications. English has long become the lingua franca of the globalising economy, and this study set out to investigate how well SMEs are prepared to meet the linguistic requirements imposed on them by global business. Enterprises in the new German states are widely believed to be disadvantaged with regard to their communicative competence in English, since English played only a minor role for decades, but has risen to decisive significance within the past couple of years, taking many companies and their employees by surprise, finding them not as well prepared as their colleagues in the old German states. Still, finding their way to the new export markets in Western Europe, the Americas and Asia are vital for the survival of Saxon economy, and communicative competence in English as the lingua franca of international business is the major prerequisite for achieving this objective. Corporate communicative competence involves various aspects, including the foreign language skills of the employees – covering the entire range of linguistic skills from oral communication including listening and speaking, giving presentations or participating in negotiations to writing skills ranging from reading and writing of various text types, including media literacy. Apart from the personal linguistic competence of the employees, the "corporate" linguistic competence of the company also plays a major role for the perception of the company on its international markets. Therefore this study focused on investigating how well SMEs present themselves in their corporate literature and on the internet, which instruments from the wide-ranging selection of marketing tools hey apply for communicating with international markets and how the linguistic quality of their international market communications can be assessed. The objective is to provide small and medium-sized companies with a tool to maximise the effects of their international communication efforts based on the analysis of the current state of the art and on the evaluation of previous studies in this field. Theories from the field of functional stylistics provide a useful scope for such an approach. Although the aim of this study is not to establish normative requirements with regard to how corporate advertising literature should be written, a functional style analysis will provide the basis for suggestions of what could be improved with regard to the functions these text types have to fulfil. These suggestions will be based on a comparison of the established features of the text type of advertising copy with the linguistic features actually used by Saxon SMEs in their marketing materials. It is suggested that the implementation of the concept of the communications consultant will be one efficient way to improve international communication management in small and medium-sized companies. By analysing communicative tasks in SMEs and by providing a theoretical background, the concept of the communications consultant will be put on a scientific basis, and the need for professional support in international communications for SMEs will be underlined. The idea of the communications consultant actually sparked this entire study. After reading Zeh-Glöckler's study on English in Saxony and contemplating the concept of the Sprachenberater she suggested, I compared her findings with my practical experience from everyday communications in Saxon SMEs and developed the idea that the concept of the language consultant might be put on an even wider footing, serving as a true communications consultant. The major difference between these two concepts is that the communications consultant has a stronger focus on marketing, taking responsibility for all aspects of international marketing communications. Therefore I designed a questionnaire dealing with a great variety of factors influencing and determining the international marketing strategy of a company and then linked the results to linguistic theories in an interdisciplinary approach. The actual feasibility and possible ways of implementing the concept of a communications consultant will be discussed in the final chapter of this thesis, taking the findings from the questionnaire and the linguistic analysis into account. Table of Contents: 1.Scope and Objectives9 1.1Objectives of this thesis9 1.2Methodology11 1.3Structure of this thesis13 PART IDISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS15 2.rofile of participating companies16 2.1Mittelstand" in Germany16 2.2he selection of the sample17 2.2.1he region of South West Saxony17 2.2.2he selection process18 2.2.3Definition by sector20 2.2.4Definition by size21 2.2.5Definition by year of foundation22 2.2.6Definition by headquarter22 2.2.7Definition by export activities22 2.2.7.1Internationalisation process22 2.2.7.2Export rates23 2.2.7.3Development of export rates24 2.2.7.4Export and import countries25 2.2.7.4.1Export countries25 2.2.7.4.2Import countries27 3.Globalisation and Marketing Strategies28 3.1Benefits and threats of a globalising economy28 3.2The marketing mix as the foundation of global marketing30 3.2.1Product32 3.2.1.1Product portfolio32 3.2.1.2Product appearance32 3.2.1.3Pre- and after-sales service, planning, training, assembly33 3.2.2Price34 3.2.3Distribution35 3.2.4Communication36 3.3Planning and cooperation37 3.3.1Professional planning37 3.3.2Institutional partners40 3.3.2.1Bfai (Federal Agency for Foreign Trade)41 3.3.2.2IHK42 3.3.2.3AHK42 3.3.3Private service providers44 4.International Communications and English as a Lingua Franca46 4.1The significance of English as a lingua franca46 4.2English in everyday business50 4.3Responsibilities for English language tasks52 4.3.1Translation tasks52 4.3.1.1Linguistic background of translation52 4.3.1.2Translation practice in SMEs54 4.3.1.3Bridging the gap between content and style62 4.3.2International contracts64 4.3.3Negotiations64 4.3.4Looking after international guests65 4.3.5International trade fairs66 4.3.6Presentations66 4.3.7Business correspondence and telephoning66 4.3.8Media relations67 4.3.9English version of the internet presentation67 4.3.10Summary responsibilities68 4.4Command of English of employees and executives in Saxon SMEs70 4.4.1Command of English of the people in charge of international communication tasks70 4.4.2The "English-Gap" between East and West Germany71 4.4.3A positive outlook72 4.4.4English language training in SMEs73 4.4.4.1Language training as part of the personnel development strategy74 4.4.4.2Analysis of the current situation75 4.4.4.3Definition of goals75 4.4.4.4Solutions78 5.Marketing and advertising80 5.1Marketing as discourse80 5.2The significance of marketing instruments in SMEs82 5.2.1Trade fairs83 5.2.2Direct marketing84 5.2.3Media relations85 5.2.4Sales agents86 5.2.5Print advertising and online promotion87 5.2.6PR and events88 5.3National and international marketing spending90 5.3.1General results90 5.3.2Exact spending on individual marketing tools94 5.3.2.1Trade fairs94 5.3.2.2Sales literature95 5.3.2.3Internet96 5.3.2.4Print advertisements and media relations98 6.Trade Fairs100 6.1Importance of trade fairs for Saxon SMEs100 6.2Benefits of trade fairs101 6.3Cost factors103 6.4Common flaws in trade show presentations104 6.5Effective use of trade fairs as a platform of communication106 6.5.1Preparation106 6.5.2Presentation at the stand108 6.5.3Af... 
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