Foreign languages can boost management skills

Published on Tuesday, 31 January 2012 11:45
Posted by Scott Buckler

The drive for UK companies to begin trading with overseas firms is set to lead to a boost in bosses adding foreign languages to the management skills they possess

Research carried out by Regus found that a lack of foreign language skills is a rising challenge for UK firms as they look to increase trade with non-EU markets such as BRIC countries and South America.

The research also found that Brits are already finding themselves beaten to international business and marketing jobs by foreign candidates with superior language skills.

Stephan Chambers, MBA programme director, Saïd Business School, University of Oxford, said: "Despite the near ubiquity of English in world business, it's clear that there will be an increasing premium on managers who speak Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic or Russian as the centres of business power move inexorably towards the new economic powerhouses of China and elsewhere."

He also noted that fluency in a foreign language can help insight and understanding and therefore boost national competitiveness.


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