This article proposes a framework examining the impact of non-native accents on speakers' work and career outcomes, namely, career advancement and career satisfaction. Drawing on stigma theory, we present a conceptual model to assess cognitive, affective, and behavioral reactions towards non-native accents. We contend that speaking with a non-native accent is linked with (i) managers' perceptions of speakers' fluency, (ii) expectations concerning non-native speakers' performance abilities, (iii) positive regard in social interactions and (iv) supervision style towards speakers with non-native accents. Moreover, we suggest that speaking with a non-native accent may lead speakers to (i) feel excluded and devalued at work, and (ii) assume an avoidance approach at work. Together, these effects can create a self-fulfilling prophecy that negatively affects non-native speakers' work and career outcomes. We also suggest that the strength of accents' consequences depend on the presence of particular person-related (accent prestige, exposure to the non-native accent, and non-native speakers' goal orientation) and job-related factors (nature of the job and company ethnocentrism). Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Human Resource Management Review – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2017
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