Crossing borders and boundaries: Translation ecosystems in international business

Eleanor Westley, Rebecca Piekkari, Kaisa Koskinen, Susanne Tietze

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The field of International Business (IB) has traditionally focused on the crossing of national boundaries. In this Perspective, we argue that organizational, knowledge domain, and language boundaries are equally important for understanding translation activities in cross-border business. We integrate three kinds of translation (organizational translation and knowledge translation from Organization Studies and interlingual translation from Translation Studies) to deepen our understanding of core IB phenomena and pose new research questions. We introduce the framework of a translation ecosystem for integrating the micro perspective of translating agents, the meso perspective of organizational units, and the macro perspective of the larger social and linguistic contexts that influence translation. This framework allows IB scholars to identify important but invisible boundaries in cross-border business. The translation ecosystem requires the kind of multi-level research that has been recognized as crucial for taking the field forward and offers the potential for making contributions both to IB and to translation research beyond the disciplinary boundaries of IB.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102030
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cross-border business Boundary spanning Headquarters-subsidiary relationships Organizational translation Interlingual translation Translation ecosystem

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2


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