Publication type: Conference other
Type of review: Peer review (abstract)
Title: Intercultural intelligence and translatorial agency in organizations : prospects for research and professional development
Authors: Massey, Gary
et. al: No
Conference details: CIUTI Conference 2020 : Artificial Intelligence & Intercultural Intelligence : Actions and interactions in translation, interpreting and target contexts, online, 9-11 December 2020
Issue Date: 10-Dec-2020
Language: English
Subjects: Translatorial agency; Communication Constitutes Organization (CCO); Intercultural intelligence; Organizational communication; Translatorial linguistic ethnography; Action research
Subject (DDC): 418.02: Translating and interpreting
Abstract: Within the emergentist theoretical framework of Communication Constitutes Organization (CCO; Schoeneborn et al., 2019), Organization Studies has shown a growing interest in exploring the agency of translators as they shape organizational and corporate identities and develop their own roles (Koskinen, 2020; Piekkari et al., 2019; Tietze et al., 2017). Largely focused on paraprofessionals specialized and working in organizational fields other than translation (Koskela et al., 2017), these studies have stressed the interventionist, transcreative strategies adopted by these translators, who appear to bring native cultural and intercultural intelligence (e.g. Ang and van Dyne, 2015) to bear as they freely adapt the messages conveyed by central units in multinational enterprises to receiving organizational and linguistic cultures, often in order to further the goals of the cultures to which they belong, as well as their own (e.g. Piekkari et al., 2019). By contrast, professional translators are depicted as something apart, invisible conduits involved in a hermetic process of neutral, wholly faithful translation akin to transcoding (e.g. Piekkari et al., 2019, pp. 13-14). This can be ascribed to a general misconception of what professional translation actually involves, sustained by ethical codes promoting the illusion of complete accuracy and fidelity (Lambert, 2018), linear translation service standards that severely restrict professional translators’ interactive, agentic role (Koskinen, 2019; Massey and Wieder, 2019) and a widespread self-concept that prevents professional translators from using their multicultural knowledge and intercultural awareness (e.g. Liddicoat, 2016) to adopt more mediatory, advisory and co-creative roles (Katan, 2011, 2016; Massey and Wieder, 2019). Known to Translation Studies as intercultural competence, intercultural intelligence has been an integral part of translator competence models for years, but in recent times has been increasingly marginalized by a focus on specialized technology-related skills or the service competences to apply them (e.g. EMT Board, 2017; Nitzke et al., 2019). At a time when neural machine translation and other artificial intelligence systems are advancing into markets served by human translators, this runs counter to insights from research findings in organizational contexts, where CCO-framed research on paraprofessional translation and on the interface between international corporate communications and translation demonstrate a distinct demand potential for the added value of human intervention (Massey and Ehrensberger-Dow, 2017; Massey and Wieder, 2019, 2020). This paper presents ongoing research results at that interface, based on survey and interview data collected from professional translators, project managers, communications professionals and senior communication managers in Switzerland. It considers how CCO models and research into translatorial agency provide a key to empowering professional translators by providing the framework for (re-)focusing and developing both competences and professional prospects in the organizations using their services. Looking forward, it sketches out ethnographic avenues (e.g. Koskinen, 2020; Tacchi et al., 2003) for researching sociotechnical organizational environments to investigate factors that inhibit and promote translators’ agency.
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: Applied Linguistics
Organisational Unit: Institute of Translation and Interpreting (IUED)
Appears in collections:Publikationen Angewandte Linguistik

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