“No news is good news?”
The role of feedback in the virtual-team-style translation production network
Professional translation is now predominantly carried out in virtual-team-style production networks where communication between language service providers (LSPs) and freelance translators’ practice is increasingly restricted to computerised methods. Although some literature deals with interactions between different participants in the translation production network, little attention has been paid to the ways in which they exchange feedback on translation products. Using observation and interview methods, this article examines how feedback is perceived and dealt with by freelance translators and LSPs’ project managers. Our results suggest that, although both groups share the value of feedback to some extent, feedback does not always reach translators and the translators are not always aware of the rationale behind it. By drawing on the Job Characteristics Model (JCM) (Hackman and Oldham 1980), which was developed in organisational psychology, we argue that incorporating feedback in the job constructs of freelance translators’ work may help to enhance translators’ motivation.
Keywords: feedback, translator, project manager (PM), translation practice, motivation, interview study, workplace observation, Job Characteristics Model (JCM)
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