Future-Time Framing: The Effect of Language on Corporate Future Orientation

43 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2014 Last revised: 29 May 2018

Hao Liang

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Christopher Marquis

Cornell University; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Sunny Li Sun

University of Massachusetts Lowell

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 19, 2018

Abstract

We examine how international variation in corporate future-oriented behavior, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and research and development (R&D) investment, could partially stem from characteristics of the languages spoken at firms. We develop a future-time framing perspective rooted in the literatures on organizational categorization and framing. Our theory and hypotheses focus on how companies with working languages that obligatorily separate the future tense and the present tense engage less in future-oriented behaviors, and this effect is attenuated by exposure to multilingual environments. The results based on a large global sample of firms from 39 countries support our theory, highlighting the importance of language in affecting organizational behavior around the world.

Keywords: Language, International Business, Organizational Cognition, Future-Time Framing, Corporate Future Orientation, Corporate Culture

JEL Classification: G3, Z10, Z11, G28

Suggested Citation

Liang, Hao and Marquis, Christopher and Renneboog, Luc and Sun, Sunny Li, Future-Time Framing: The Effect of Language on Corporate Future Orientation (May 19, 2018). Harvard Business School Organizational Behavior Unit Working Paper No. 14-082 ; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) - Finance Working Paper No. 412/2014 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2403878 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2403878

Hao Liang

Singapore Management University - Lee Kong Chian School of Business ( email )

469 Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 912409
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://business.smu.edu.sg/faculty/profile/130396/LIANG-Hao

Christopher Marquis (Contact Author)

Cornell University ( email )

363 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.chrismarquis.com

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Luc Renneboog

Tilburg University - Department of Finance ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Warandelaan 2
5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
+13 31 466 8210 (Phone)
+13 31 466 2875 (Fax)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)

c/o ECARES ULB CP 114
B-1050 Brussels
Belgium

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)

Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

Sunny Li Sun

University of Massachusetts Lowell ( email )

72 University Ave.
Lowell, MA 01854
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=c-Covi4AAAAJ&hl

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