Diagnosing Translation Gap: The politics of translation and the hidden contradiction in interdisciplinary accounting research

Rania Kamla, Naoko Komori

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper aims to break the silence surrounding the politics of translation that influence cross-language/cultural accounting research. It gives due consideration to the ways in which translation gaps are produced and re-produced in qualitative interdisciplinary accounting research (IAR).
First, we discuss backstage insights and our own life experiences vis-à-vis translating cross-cultural /language research. We provide a critical self-reflection on the process as non-Western female researchers publishing in English-language accounting journals. Second, we carry-out a content analysis to examine reported translation practices in three long-established interdisciplinary accounting journals from 2015-2017. The conclusion integrates these analyses to discuss the reproduction process of the translation gap in accounting research and its outcomes.

The study identifies inherent contradictions in IAR and its emancipatory agenda, where translation gaps are structural outcomes of overlaps between the politics of translation and the politics of publishing IAR. The study highlights the IAR community’s lack of awareness regarding political and methodological sensitivities in dealing with particularities in cultural contexts. We argue that this reflects the institutional norms for publishing in IAR, which contributes to neutralising cultural diversity and complex translation processes in the name of objectivity. This could ultimately lead to further marginalisation of non-Western cultural knowledge and values, while producing academic “elites” within the IAR community, meanwhile missing opportunities for innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jul 2018
Event12th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference 2018 - Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 201813 Jul 2018


Conference12th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Accounting Conference 2018
Abbreviated titleIPA 2018
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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