Can Technology-Enabled Translation Reduce Psychic Distance Perceptions?


Research in international management has long embraced distance as central to the understanding and explanation of international business. Psychic distance has received particularly much scholarly attention, linking the construct to international business phenomena and strategic management activities, such as the internationalization process of the firm, the performance of the firm and its foreign
subsidiaries. Scholars identified a number of factors (often called psychic distance stimuli) that impact psychic distance and have demonstrated that some of the stimuli are prone to change along with economic and individual development as well as societal and technological change. One dynamic that has not been investigated in the literature so far is the effect of technology on this relationship. New technology tools, such as Google Translate, Apple’s instant translation application or WeChat enable individuals to translate messages instantly and thus allow to ease communication. We propose that this technology-enabled translation (TET) affects psychic distance in two ways. Firstly, as TET allows a direct translation and easy communication, it eases the constraints posed by distance creating factors. At the same time, technology-moderated communication allows sending messages free of cultural cues and to recontextualize messages instantly. Both effects are expected to reduce psychic distance perceptions.

Additional Informations

Psychic Distance; Technology-enabled Translation; Technology

Commencement Date1 February 2021
Acronym New Work
Contributors Ambos, Björn (Project Manager); Dao, Ngoc-Quynh (Project Worker) & Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich
Datestamp 28 May 2021 08:00
Completion Date 31 January 2022
HSG Profile Area SEPS - Economic Policy
Funders HSG – Grundlagenforschungsfonds (GFF)
Id 247993
Project Range Institute/School
Project Status ongoing
Project Type fundamental research project
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