Business Intelligence

Is English Enough On Global Stage?

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Executive Summary

Do proficiency in foreign languages and understanding of different cultures offer an edge in the global economy? Or is English enough for doing international business today? In a world in which many believe that English is the language of international business, what advantages have executives gained by knowing foreign languages? A survey on the competitive advantage of foreign language and cultural competence of 581 graduates of Thunderbird School of Global Management found that those MBAs feel that these skills have been a great benefit in their careers. Eight-two percent of the respondents said they gained a competitive advantage in business from their foreign language skills. And even more, 89 percent, said they received an edge from their knowledge of other cultures.

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