Negotiating Multilingual Quality in Component Content-Management Environments

Tatiana Batova

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Introduction: This case study examines the impacts of component content management (CCM) on the ways global technical communication (TC) stakeholders practice multilingual quality. About the case: The case study is based on the results of a 12-month qualitative case study of global technical communication stakeholders at DreamMedi, a Fortune 500 manufacturer of medical devices. Situating the case: Three areas of inquiry informed the study. Academic and trade literature from technical communication and technical translation revealed disagreements and contradictions that surround multilingual quality in CCM environments. Rhetorical genre theory allowed analyzing multilingual quality by distinguishing content components as a new genre, a unit of analysis, and a mediator of global technical communication. Activity theory provided the theoretical foundation for examining a global TC activity system at its nodes and then elucidating the contradictions within these nodes. Methods/approach: The case study was a multiple-method research project that included observations, in-depth interviews, questionnaires, document collection/content analysis, and software exploration. The Institutional Review Board-Approved study focused on technical communicators, translators, and bilingual reviewers. Results/discussion: Relying on thick descriptions of the storylines of global TC stakeholders, this paper pinpoints contradictions in how stakeholders understand and approach multilingual quality. These contradictions are rooted in stakeholders' backgrounds and experience, and become more dramatic after the transition to CCM. Conclusions: Global TC stakeholders lacked strategies for negotiating their understandings of and approaches to multilingual quality in the new information development and management paradigm. Developing such strategies is the key prerequisite for effective cross-functional and cross-cultural collaboration in multilingual CCM environments. Technical communicators are well-positioned to take on leadership roles in developing such strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-100
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Transactions on Professional Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Component content management (CCM)
  • content strategy
  • cross-functional collaboration
  • information quality
  • translation/localization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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