Strategy, networks and systems in the global translation services market

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The globalisation of markets has led to an increased demand for language translation services that support and enable communication between economic partners. For example, technical documents, software systems, business documents and web sites all need to be translated into multiple languages for individual national markets, and the information that they contain changes periodically. This paper sets out a theoretical framework that describes the architectures of business processes within and between separate firms that are used to support the delivery and management of services. This is done by coordinating the fit between externally generated problem complexity, from customers, and the internally generated complexity of different potential network configuration solutions. The theoretical framework is an architecture of how complexity is generated and managed at the different structural levels and across the different processual stages of an industry. A case study of thebigword, a major international translation services company, illustrates how the framework is applied in practice. The case study analyses the implementation of an electronic market platform which enables the coordination of the different stakeholders involved in the translation services market. These stakeholders include translators, translation services companies and their clients in a global business network. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)242-256
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Strategic Information Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010