Linguistic gender marking gap and female staffing at MNC’s

Miki Malul, Amir Shoham, Moshfique Uddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents the impact of the linguistic gender marking gap on expatriate female staffing decisions in a multinational company. Transaction cost theory postulates that due to cultural differences, integration between parent and subsidiary companies becomes complex and costly. However, staffing from parent organisations could be helpful to minimise the cultural conflict by establishing better control and hence reducing the transaction cost. Language is considered as one of the major components that shapes culture, and linguistic gender marking gap could cause a difference in attitude towards male and female staff members from parent companies. Due to the nature of linguistic structures, which are embedded in ancestral culture and have a cognitive effect on speakers, the gap has two levels. The first is the gap between home and host countries’ languages. The second is between the official and informal languages used by the headquarters and the subsidiary. The analytical model, using an innovative gender gap variable, supports two carefully developed propositions, that the success of expatriate staffing at managerial level depends on the linguistic gender marking gap between home and host country, and that use of organisational language in subsidiaries reduces the linguistic gender marking gap between them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2531-2549
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number20
StatePublished - 12 Nov 2016


  • MNC's
  • gender
  • staffing

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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