Language and Globalization: “Englishnization” at Rakuten (A) Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Hiroshi Mikitani, the CEO of Rakuten, (Japan's largest online retailer), is at the helm of an organization that's quickly growing into global markets. Mikitani's goal is not only to break down cultural and linguistic boundaries in Japanese society, but additionally to ensure the success of the organization.

At the time, only an estimated 10% of the Japanese staff could function in English. The stakes are high: those who do not reach their target score by the deadline hazard being demoted. Conflicted perspectives among managers, lack of time to study, and loss of productivity impede staff success as Englishnization progresses. Some employees even question the relevance of Englishnization, especially for staff working alone in Japan. Fifteen months since the announcement, the vast majority hadn't yet reached their goal English ability scores. With the deadline fast approaching, Mikitani must determine the best way to carry on to ensure the ongoing worldwide rise of his organization the success of Englishnization, and even the future of Japan.

PUBLICATION DATE: August 29, 2011 PRODUCT #: 412002-HCB-ENG

This is just an excerpt. This case is about LEADERSHIP & MANAGING PEOPLE

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