Standardising Fatherhood across Cultures

A Linguistic Approach to Studying the Communication of a New Global Company Policy in Multinational Corporations


  • Agnes Marie Bamford Norwegian School of Economics



diversity management; gender equality; diversity, equity and inclusion; parental leave; paternity leave; strategic ambiguity; discourse analysis; corporate communication


A current trend in multinational corporations (MNCs) is a strong focus on diversity management in order to attract and
retain talent. The present study investigates the linguistic manifestation and justification of a very recent company policy
intended to facilitate this trend, viz., global paternity leave. The study aims to contribute to the linguistic turn in
organisational studies. As a theoretical point of departure, Corporate Communication, and specifically links between
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Diversity Management communication are discussed. Concepts and tools from
text linguistics are then applied to investigate the communication strategies employed when introducing the new family
leave policy in four MNCs headquartered in the UK and Norway, respectively. The material consists of a set of texts on
global parental leave produced by the four companies. The linguistic analysis identifies similarities as well as differences
between the British and Norwegian companies in how the new global leave policy is presented. The findings also
demonstrate a tension between focussing on the CSR efforts gender equality and inclusion in the justification of the new
measure intended to support the MNCs’ diversity management efforts.


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How to Cite

Bamford, A. M. (2022). Standardising Fatherhood across Cultures: A Linguistic Approach to Studying the Communication of a New Global Company Policy in Multinational Corporations. HERMES - Journal of Language and Communication in Business, (62), 87–105.