Political place to work

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didaccia

New Member
Italian
"company X has developed a reputation for being one of the most political and unpleasant places to work"

What do you mean here for "political"? How does it translate into Italian?
 
  • didaccia

    New Member
    Italian
    OK sorry, I was in a bit of a hurry :)
    This is the complete sentence:

    Company X had already developed a reputation within the Valley for being one of the most political and unpleasant places to work, and the board couldn’t tolerate that kind of press, especially when the future had looked so promising just a couple of years earlier.

    It is from a book about how to improve teamwork. The author is presenting the company and he is talking about the work environment which is not an easy one. A couple of lines earlier he says that

    Backstabbing among the executives had become an art. There was no sense of unity or camaraderie on the team, which translated into a muted level of commitment. Everything seemed to take too long to get done, and even then it never felt right.

    I cannot suggest a translation, as the meaning of political in this context is not clear to me.

    Maybe I'd better post the question in the English-only forum...

    I made some researches and I found this:

    Office politics exist in virtually all organizations. They are the activities performed by individuals to improve their status and advance their personal agenda – sometimes at the expense of others. These self-serving actions are informal or unofficial and could be the reason why politics in the workplace comes with a negative connotation.

    But still I cannot figure out what it could be in Italian...

    Something like utilitaristico?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Secondo me si riferisce alla competitività che c'è fra i colleghi, ognuno con la propria agenda ed i propri interessi. Tutto questo porta ovviamente a dei conflitti.

    Si potrebbe parlare di un ambiente troppo competitivo, non so.
     

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    "Politics" and "political" in a workplace context generally imply that the members of the workplace have split into two or more factions, with each faction trying to promote its own interests, hold more power than the rival factions, and undermine the rival factions' interests. So not competitiveness between individuals so much as discord and power plays between rival factions. University departments are particularly noted for this kind of behaviour (traditionalists vs. progressives, supporters of professor X's bid for being Chair vs. supporters of professor Y's, etc.).

    I can't imagine this doesn't happen in Italy, seeing that even us mild-mannered Canadians go in for it, so I'm guessing there must be an Italian term for it. I just don't know what it is.
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    The way I understand it, 'political' and 'competitive' are two different concepts. A workplace can be competitive based on results or merit alone. In a 'political' workplace you'll find alliances, favoritisms, cronyism, nepotism, etc. , which are the 'cultural' framework within which the corporate mission and goals may even be put aside to support the private goals of certain individuals and groups.

    It's a very political Company = E' un'azienda piena di favoritismi

    But actually, 'favoritismi' only tells half the story. The picture is one of a slightly-to-heavily dysfunctional environment, where the chain of command is not linear, and is challenged by informal power networks and loyalties.

    Forse "E' un'azienda piena di correnti".

    If in Italian we said "politicizzata", it would mean that it is infuenced by actual political parties.
     
    Last edited:

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    politics

    the relationships within a group or organization that allow particular people to have power over others:

    I don't like to get involved in office politics.

    [ usually plural ] WORKPLACE
    activities that are related to getting or keeping power within a particular company, organization, etc.:

    company/office/workplace politics Don't be seen as a troublemaker and avoid company politics.
    POLITICS | definizione, significato - che cosa è POLITICS nel dizionario Inglese - Cambridge Dictionary

    3 eufem politico, relativo agli interessi di un gruppo o una organizzazione
    political correctness correttezza politica
    he was dismissed for political reasons fu licenziato per ragioni politiche.
    political: traduzione in italiano - Dizionari

    SOSTANTIVO PLURALE
    Politics can be used to talk about the ways that power is shared in an organization and the ways it is affected by personal relationships between people who work together. The verb that follows politics may be either singular or plural.
    You need to understand how office politics influence the working environment.

    (functioning as singular or plural)
    any activity concerned with the acquisition of power, gaining one's own ends, etc
    company politics are frequently vicious
    Politics Definizione significato | Dizionario inglese Collins

    Screenshot_2020-09-12-06-43-50-1.png

    Politics - Dizionario inglese-italiano WordReference
     

    Odysseus54

    Mod huc mod illuc
    Italian - Marche
    politics

    the relationships within a group or organization that allow particular people to have power over others:

    I don't like to get involved in office politics.

    [ usually plural ] WORKPLACE
    activities that are related to getting or keeping power within a particular company, organization, etc.:

    company/office/workplace politics Don't be seen as a troublemaker and avoid company politics.
    POLITICS | definizione, significato - che cosa è POLITICS nel dizionario Inglese - Cambridge Dictionary

    3 eufem politico, relativo agli interessi di un gruppo o una organizzazione
    political correctness correttezza politica
    he was dismissed for political reasons fu licenziato per ragioni politiche.
    political: traduzione in italiano - Dizionari

    SOSTANTIVO PLURALE
    Politics can be used to talk about the ways that power is shared in an organization and the ways it is affected by personal relationships between people who work together. The verb that follows politics may be either singular or plural.
    You need to understand how office politics influence the working environment.

    (functioning as singular or plural)
    any activity concerned with the acquisition of power, gaining one's own ends, etc
    company politics are frequently vicious
    Politics Definizione significato | Dizionario inglese Collins

    View attachment 46802
    Politics - Dizionario inglese-italiano WordReference

    So, how do we translate ".. one of the most political and unpleasant places to work" ?

    Or, how can you translate "company politics"?

    My position is that whereas we Italians think of 'politics' exclusively as 'party politics' , we Americans think of 'politics' more generically, as formal or informal power relations.

    Which is to say that

    "he was dismissed for political reasons"

    and

    "fu licenziato per ragioni politiche" are not necessarily equivalent.

    John may have been fired because he was a political activist, or because he had chosen the wrong mentor, or was close to the wrong executive.

    Giovanni, on the other hand, was fired because he is an activist, period.

    Which leaves us with the question on how to translate "a political place to work at".

    My suggestion with the 'correnti', by the way, is awkward and ludicrous. Un' "azienda piena di correnti" e' un'azienda dove ci si deve mettere la sciarpa, altrimenti si prende un malanno. I understand what I meant, but it did not come out right...

    If I had to translate "XX is a very political workplace", potrei dire "XX e' un ambiente di lavoro pieno di centri di potere e di correnti". Meglio di cosi' non mi viene.
     

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    So, how do we translate ".. one of the most political and unpleasant places to work" ?

    Or, how can you translate "company politics"?

    My position is that whereas we Italians think of 'politics' exclusively as 'party politics' , we Americans think of 'politics' more generically, as formal or informal power relations.

    Which is to say that

    "he was dismissed for political reasons"

    and

    "fu licenziato per ragioni politiche" are not necessarily equivalent.

    John may have been fired because he was a political activist, or because he had chosen the wrong mentor, or was close to the wrong executive.

    Giovanni, on the other hand, was fired because he is an activist, period.

    Which leaves us with the question on how to translate "a political place to work at".

    My suggestion with the 'correnti', by the way, is awkward and ludicrous. Un' "azienda piena di correnti" e' un'azienda dove ci si deve mettere la sciarpa, altrimenti si prende un malanno. I understand what I meant, but it did not come out right...

    If I had to translate "XX is a very political workplace", potrei dire "XX e' un ambiente di lavoro pieno di centri di potere e di correnti". Meglio di cosi' non mi viene.
    Eh già, neanche a me viene in mente niente di idiomatico o che suoni bene... Non facile, per la traduzione passo a voi la palla.

    Edit:
    Vorrei solo sottoporre una traduzione di "politics" che, sebbene abbia più senso nel campo della politica vera e propria, potrebbe in qualche modo applicarsi anche a questo tipo di contesto.

    4 U opportunismo, politica, intrighi/manovre di corridoio, rivalità, politica o lotta interna.
    politics: traduzione in italiano - Dizionari
     
    Last edited:

    theartichoke

    Senior Member
    English - Canada
    My suggestion with the 'correnti', by the way, is awkward and ludicrous. Un' "azienda piena di correnti" e' un'azienda dove ci si deve mettere la sciarpa, altrimenti si prende un malanno. I understand what I meant, but it did not come out right...
    I'll confess that "un'azienda piena di correnti" made me laugh yesterday, but I assumed it must be one of those things where a native speaker wouldn't even notice the unintended meaning: like someone walking into a bar and saying "I'd like a draft." :D
     

    didaccia

    New Member
    Italian
    Assuming that I'm afraid I won't find anything that can convey the exact meaning of "political", I'm leaning towards "conflittuale", or rather "pieno di conflitti"...

    Thanks to you all for your efforts!
     

    Tellure

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Per chi voglia approfondire il concetto di "politics" in ambito lavorativo, vi sottopongo il seguente articolo:

    Il primo canale ha a che fare con un insieme di fenomeni organizzativi denominati organizational politics, ossia quelle azioni intraprese da un singolo o da un gruppo dirette al perseguimento dei propri interessi senza considerazione per il benessere altrui all’interno dell’organizzazione (Kacmar & Baron, 1999, p. 4), come, per esempio, assegnare una valutazione “gonfiata” a un collaboratore per meriti non direttamente riconducibili alla sua prestazione (favori personali, ricerca di informazioni extra-role, ecc.); fornire punteggi bassi nella valutazione della performance per spingere un collaboratore a lasciare l’organizzazione entro cui opera, o, viceversa, assegnare valutazioni più alte in modo tale da ottenere cooperazione dai propri impiegati, o ancora proporre valutazioni della performance uguali per tutti i collaboratori in modo tale da evitare risentimento e rivalità tra di loro.
    [...]
    E’ bene specificare sin da ora che faremo riferimento alle organizational politics (OP, o comportamenti politici) come comportamenti iscritti nel contesto organizzativo e più precisamente nel processo di performance management, comportamenti messi in atto dal capo-valutatore nei confronti del suo collaboratore-valutato. Lasswell (1958) comincia a parlare di organizational politics come i segreti che stanno alla base dell’ottenere qualcosa attraverso il potere, in un dato periodo ed in un certo modo all’interno di un sistema sociale. Burns, nel 1961 (p. 257) parla di OP quando gli individui vengono sfruttati come risorse, da altre persone, all’interno di situazioni competitive.
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sou...FjAUegQIAxAB&usg=AOvVaw0Y_337Ei-aEX4lcmEy3Qv3

    "Organizational politics" qui viene reso come "comportamenti politici", anche se si tratta di un articolo tecnico-scientifico, troppo scientifico sicuramente per il testo a cui lavora didaccia. Potrebbe comunque servire a qualcun altro in futuro.
     
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