The Role of Local Language Mastery for Foreign Talent Management at Higher Education Institutions: Case Study in Czechia
Purpose: This article explores the role and impact of Czech language mastery in the integration and retention of foreign academics in HEIs in the Czech Republic (Czechia). Czech higher education institutions (HEIs) aspire to attract the best talents to the workplace. The well-being of foreign experts in local workplaces is often researched without expounding the impact of local language mastery. HEIs in Czechia, like other universities in the European Union (EU), have strategic needs for foreign talents in tertiary education, however, various barriers persist in attracting and retaining foreign academics in Czechia.
Design/Method/Approach: Based upon the theories of Global Talent Management, Internationalization, and Social Ecology, this study conducted quantitative research and collected primary data from 211 foreign academics living and working in HEIs in Czechia. The study evaluated the dimensions of the well-being of foreign academics with their Czech language mastery. For higher validity, the analyses were supplemented with qualitative research (research triangulation) - a qualitative analysis of open answers to supplementary questions, in which respondents got an opportunity to express their feelings and opinions, was performed.
Findings: The result shows that although a multicultural environment exists in HEIs in Czechia, which allows for communication in English, the need to understand the local language i.e. the Czech language, for work orientation, administrative procedures and integration of a foreign employee into the local community in the medium and long-term are still pertinent. The Czech language is one of the biggest obstacles while integrating into the local community, and it takes foreigners at least five years to learn it for everyday interaction.
Theoretical Implications: This study contributes to the extension of Global Talent Management theory by extending the dimension of local language mastery as an important driver for employee integration and retention into a local workplace and community for sustainable employment.
Practical Implications: The study found that foreign academics can improve Czech language proficiency and feel better integrated with local communities after five years in Czechia. HEIs could play a proactive role in integrating and retaining foreign talents by assisting with local language mastery.
Originality/Value: This study highlights the importance of local language mastery in regional HEIs of the EU, whose retention of foreign talents is directly affected by the expatriates’ ability to master the local language.
Research Limitations/Future Research: The research lacked sufficient information on the total number of foreign academics currently residing in Czechia. However, 211 foreign academics participated in this study. Future studies could expand the study by surveying foreign experts in other EU countries as well as including other dimensions besides local language mastery.
Paper Type: Empirical
JEL Classification: F22, I23, J24, J49
Ackers, L. (2008). Internationalisation, Mobility and Metrics: A New Form of Indirect Discrimination? Minerva, 46(4), 411–435. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-008-9110-2.
Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W. F., & Paauwe, J. (2014). Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 173–179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2013.11.001.
Behle, H. (2014). European Mobility of United Kingdom Educated Graduates. Who Stays, Who Goes? Higher Education Quarterly. 68(3), 288-304. https://doi.org/10.1111/hequ.12051.
Cactus Foundation. (2020). Mental Health Survey. Mumbai: Cactus Communications Pvt. Ltd. Available at: https://www.cactusglobal.com/mental-health-survey/
Cantwell, B. (2011). Transnational Mobility and International Academic Employment: Gatekeeping in an Academic Competition Arena. Minerva, 49(4), 425–445. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11024-011-9181-3.
Cerdin, J.-L., & Brewster, C. (2014). Talent management and expatriation: Bridging two streams of research and practice. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 245–252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2013.11.008.
Cernanska, B. (2018). Theory of Push-Pull Effects on Migration. Maastricht: United Nations University. Retrieved November 10, 2022 from https://www.encyclopediaofmigration.org/teorie-push-pull/.
Charles University (2021). Department of Language and Vocational Training, Charles University. Prague. Available at: https://ujop.cuni.cz/zkousky/.
Collings, D. G. (2014). Integrating global mobility and global talent management: Exploring the challenges and strategic opportunities. Journal of World Business, 49(2), 253–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jwb.2013.11.009.
Crowley-Henry, M., & Al Ariss, A. (2016). Talent management of skilled migrants: propositions and an agenda for future research. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 29(13), 2054–2079. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2016.1262889.
De Boeck, G., Meyers, M. C., & Dries, N. (2018). Employee reactions to talent management: Assumptions versus evidence. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 39, 199–213. https://doi.org/10.1002/job.2254.
Diocesan Charity of Ceske Budejovice. (2021). Counseling for Foreigners and Migrants. České Budějovice. Available at: https://cizincicb.charita.cz/.
Dvorakova, J., Hervertova, V., Horska, J., & Moureckova, H. (2008). Methods of Social Work with Immigrants, Asylum Seekers, and their Children. Prague: Triton.
Euraxess Czech Republic. (2020). Prague: Euraxess. Available at: https://www.euraxess.cz/czech-republic/euraxess-czech-republic.
European Commission. (2005). The European Charter & Code for Researchers. [online]. Brussels. Available at: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/euraxess/charter-code-researchers.
Expats. (2021). Prague: Howlings s.r.o. Available at: https://www.expats.cz/
Germain, C. B. (1981). The Ecological Approach to People-Environment Transactions. Social Casework,62 (6), 323-331. https://doi:10.1177/104438948106200601
Gitterman, A. & Germain C. B., (2008). The life model of social work practice: Advances in knowledge and practice, (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Columbia University Press
Gimenez, J., & Morgan, W. J. (2014). Academics across borders: narratives of linguistic capital, language competence and communication strategies. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 15(1), 68–95. https://doi.org/10.1080/14767724.2014.937402.
Hare, I. (2004). Defining Social Work for the 21st Century. International Social Work, 47(3), 407-424. https://doi.org/10.1177/0020872804043973.
Integration Center for Foreigners. (2020). Prague: Ministry of Interior. Available at: https://www.cizinci.cz/integracni-centra.
ICPraha (Integration Center Prague). (2021). Number of Foreigners in Prague. Prague. Available at: https://icpraha.com/pocet-cizincu-v-praze/.
Johnson, L. C., & Yanca, S. Y. (2010). Social Work Practice: A Generalist Approach. Boston: Pearson.
Knight, J. & De Wit, H. (2018). Internationalization of Higher Education: Past and Future. International Higher Education Boston, Toronto. https://doi.org/10.6017/ihe.2018.95.10715.
Kondrat, M. E. (2002). Actor-Centered Social Work: Re-visioning "Person-in-Environment" through a Critical Theory Lens. Social Work, 47(4), 435-448. https://doi.org/10.1093/sw/47.4.435.
Kondrat, M. E. (2013). Person-in-Environment. Encyclopedia of Social Work. https://doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780199975839.013.285.
Kozlova, L., Tothova, V., & Kahoun, V. (Eds.). (2003). Social Work. Prague: Triton.
Lilles, A., & Rõigas, K. (2017). How do Higher Education Institutions Contribute to the Growth in Regions of Europe? Studies in Higher Education, 42(1), 65-78. https://doi.org/10.1080/03075079.2015.1034264.
Marcu, S. (2014). Mobility and Identity in a Wider European Union: Experiences of Romanian migrants in Spain. European Societies, 16(1), 136-156. https://doi.org/10.1080/14616696.2013.813957.
Merton, R. K. (1968). The Mathew Effect in Science. Science. USA: AAAS, 1968(1593810), 56-63. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.159.3810.56.
MEYS. (2020). The Strategy of Internationalization of Higher Education for the Period from 2020. Prague: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Retrieved October 12, 2022 from https://www.msmt.cz/vzdelavani/vysoke-skolstvi/strategicky-zamer-ministerstva-pro-oblast-vs-na-obdobi-od.
MEYS. (2021). Overview of Universities in the Czech Republic. Prague: Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Retrieved October 12, 2022 from https://www.msmt.cz/vzdelavani/vysoke-skolstvi/prehled-vysokych-skol-v-cr-3.
MOI. (2022). MOI Offices of Department for Asylum and Migration Policy [online]. Prague: Ministry of Interior. Retrieved October 12, 2022 from https://www.mvcr.cz/docDetail.aspx?docid=22340284&doctype=ART.
MUNI. (2018). Issues of internationalization in the environment of public universities with a focus on human resources (PILZ). [online]. Brno: Masaryk University. Retrieved October 12, 2022 from https://www.muni.cz/en/research/projects/40926.
Navratil, P. (2003). Social Work with the Socially Excluded: Models of Social Work that are Widely Mentioned in Connection with Social Work with Minorities. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://nakladatelstvi.portal.cz/nakladatelstvi/aktuality/79607.
NPICR. (2021). Official Website for the Examination for Permanent Residence and Citizenship of the Czech Republic. Praha: National Pedagogical Institute of the Czech Republic (NPI CR) Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://cestina-pro-cizince.cz/.
Pazdiorova, H. (2021). Czech for Foreigners Online. Olomouc. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://www.czechforforeigners.net.
Pfeiffer, J. (2014). Coordinated rehabilitation. University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice, Faculty of Health and Social Care. ISBN 978-80-7394-461-2
Prague Education Center. (2022). Language Levels. Prague Education Center. [online] Prague. [cit. 2022-08-10]. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://www.educationcenter.cz/cz/jazykove-urovne/.
Putova, B. (2017). Culture Shock. Prague: Department of Ethnology of the Philosophical Faculty, Charles University/Institute of Ethnology, FF UK. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://www.encyclopediaofmigration.org/kulturni-sok/.
Ravenstein, E.G. (1889). The Laws of Migration. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Oxford: Willey-Blackwell Publishing, 1889(522), 241-305. https://doi.org/10.2307/2979181.
Sbalchiero, S. & Tuzzi, A. (2017). Italian Scientists Abroad in Europe's Scientific Research Scenario: High Skill Migration as a Resource for Development in Italy. International Migration, 55(4), 171-187. https://doi.org/10.1111/imig.12340.
Shachar, A. (2006). The race for talent: Highly Skilled Migrants and Competitive Immigration Regimes. New York University Law Review, 81(1), 148-206. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=883739.
Skotakova, R. (2020). Ecologic Perspective. Retrieved October 22, 2022 from https://radkaskotakova.estranky.cz/clanky/ekologicke-perspektivy-a-antiopresivni-pristup.html.
Sperduti, V. R. (2019). Internationalization as Westernization in Higher Education. Journal of Comparative & International Higher Education, 9(Spring), 9–12. Retrieved November 12, 2022 from https://ojed.org/index.php/jcihe/article/view/887.
ThoughtCo. (2020). Definition and Examples of a Lingua Franca. California. Retrieved November 12, 2022 from https://www.thoughtco.com/what-is-a-lingua-franca-1691237.
WHO. Ottawa Charter. (2012). Available at: https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/ottawa-charter-for-health-promotion
Wiers-Jenssen, J. (2007). Does Higher Education Attained Abroad Lead to International Jobs? Journal of Studies in International Education, 12(2), 101–130. https://doi.org/10.1177/1028315307307656.
Copyright (c) 2023 European Journal of Management Issues
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
The authors agree with the following conditions:
1. Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication (Download agreement) with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgment of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
2. Authors have the right to complete individual additional agreements for the non-exclusive spreading of the journal’s published version of the work (for example, to post work in the electronic repository of the institution or to publish it as part of a monograph), with the reference to the first publication of the work in this journal.
3. Journal’s politics allows and encourages the placement on the Internet (for example, in the repositories of institutions, personal websites, SSRN, ResearchGate, MPRA, SSOAR, etc.) manuscript of the work by the authors, before and during the process of viewing it by this journal, because it can lead to a productive research discussion and positively affect the efficiency and dynamics of citing the published work (see The Effect of Open Access).