Igor Rižnar
University of Primorska, Faculty of Management, Slovenia
DOI: https://doi.org/10.31410/EMAN.2018.983
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2nd International Scientific Conference – EMAN 2018 – Economics and Management: How to Cope With Disrupted Times, Ljubljana – Slovenia, March 22, 2018, CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS published by: Association of Economists and Managers of the Balkans, Belgrade, Serbia; Faculty of Management Koper, Slovenia; Doba Business School – Maribor, Slovenia; Integrated Business Faculty –  Skopje, Macedonia; Faculty of Management – Zajecar, Serbia, ISBN 978-86-80194-11-0


Abstract​

According to the ELAN study and a substantial body of previous research, a significant amount of business is being lost in the European Union as a result of the lack of language skills.
In our contribution we analyse how Austrian and Slovenian SMEs adopt language management strategies (LMS). We investigate, by means of a questionnaire sent to Slovenian and Austrian small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), how aware they are of ELAN findings, what language strategies they have adopted and if the knowledge of English is sufficient for their successful business operations.
The findings show that Slovenian exporting SMEs are not completely aware of the benefits a language management strategy could bring to their business operations on foreign markets. On the other hand, Austrian exporting SMEs are more likely to provide language training for their staff and employ native speakers much more often than their Slovenian counterparts as well as use local agents for their language needs considerably more often and use the services of professional translators and interpreters almost three times more often than Slovenian SMEs.

Key words

ELAN study, foreign language skills, language management strategies, SMEs

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