Russian or English? Examining the role and importance of the Russian Language in the Russian business of Finnish companies

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objectives of the study The overall objective of the study is to examine the role and importance of the Russian language in the Russian business of Finnish companies. To meet this objective, the main research question is formulated as follows: What is the role and importance of the Russian language in the business communication of Finnish companies operating in Russian business? Summary The literature review discusses the developments of Finnish-Russian business, as well as the role of language and culture in international business communication. The main research question was examined through an online survey targeted to Finnish companies conducting either Finland-based Russian trade or having their own operations in Russia. The survey explored the role and importance of the Russian language in relation to other possible languages in Russian trade, such as English and Finnish. The respondents were also inquired about the practices of knowledge sharing, and about possible problems encountered on the Russian market. In addition,three semi-structured interviews were conducted to deepen the findings. Conclusions The findings of the survey indicated that Russian language skills are still highly needed and valued by Finnish companies engaged in Russian trade or having direct operations in Russia. It was also found that the English language is used in Finnish-Russian business, and especially in large, multinational companies in their internal communication between the foreign units and headquarters. The tendencies that emerged in the semi-structured interviews support the survey findings.
Russia, Finland, companies, international business, business communication, Russian language, international companies
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