Case Study Review: Language and Globalization: “Englishnization” at Rakuten

1199 Words Feb 2nd, 2015 5 Pages
1 Was “Englishnization” a good idea for Rakuten? What are the costs/benefits of such a policy?
Rakuten’s decision for “englishnization” of the company is 100% in line with the trend that “English is now the global Language of Business” Englishnization of global corporations: Strategy is Needed by Sebastian Reiche blog.iese.edu
It still doesn’t mean an easy transition. People naturally oppose any changes and that can lead to higher costs especially in the beginning stages.
The way Mikitani announced the “Englishnization” policy, without consulting with his management team did not prepare any employees for this change. The employers were immediately put under a lot of stress and experience a lot of pressure. Also linking the
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Academia.edu Kamil Tazi

2 What are Mikitani’s motivations for issuing the Englishnization policy?
Multinational corporations in today’s globalalized world need to operate in the “de facto language in the business world.” Although there are solutions to try and overcome language barriers in the global market, at the end the best and maybe also easiest is to introduce English ,the Global Language of Business, as the SINGLE WORKING LANGUAGE. With Globalization it doesn’t matter where the company is based it matters if they can communicate with the rest of the world.

3 Analyze the survey results in Exhibit 3. How are employees experiencing the mandate? What differences do you see?

Looking at the results for Rakuten’s two year strategy for implementing only English as the Corporate Language it seems that the implementation results in a lot of frustration(frustrated) and unhappiness (afraid, nervous) amongst more than 70% of the workers. With, as expected, the highest percentages coming from the workers who are the Native Japanese Speakers.
Overall it is interesting to note that the Foreign nationals adapt the best to this new English only policy. Although they are afraid that they may not retain access to resources , 83 % of them, even higher % as the Native English Speakers, believe that English have to be the business language for Rakuten
It is also clear that the Native Japanese Speakers, immediate managers is