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compartmental thinking

English translation: not thinking across the board

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:compartmental thinking
English translation:not thinking across the board
Entered by: Nasima Sarwar
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08:34 Dec 3, 2004
English to English translations [PRO]
Management
English term or phrase: compartmental thinking
what is compartmental thinking? - as in the following context:

For managers this means overcoming compartmental thinking, assuming resposibility for XYZ as a whole, and acting as role models....
Nasima Sarwar
Malaysia
Local time: 06:11
not thinking across the board
Explanation:
I've checked a few sites using this term, and I'm pretty sure that's what it means: compartmental thinking is the inability to think across the board, the tendency to look at each matter in isolation of other matters, while in reality they are all linked together. In your text, managers are asked to assume responsibility for XYZ as a whole, not looking at each problem/ department (etc.) in isolation.

See here for example:
"tend to focus on the singular aspects of the realm of creation, isolating them from other parts, and the result will be compartmental thinking and struggle for ..."
catalystresources.org/issues/182krisiansen.html



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Note added at 1 hr 22 mins (2004-12-03 09:56:53 GMT)
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i.e. every matter, problem, whatever is placed in a closed compartment.
Selected response from:

Nesrin
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:11
Grading comment
thanks!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +9not thinking across the board
Nesrin
4 +3blinkered thinking i.e. as though the manager cannot see the bigger picturexxxCMJ_Trans
5 +1thinking "inside the box"
airmailrpl
4 +1departmental thinkingDavid Moore
4self-centered thinking
Alaa Zeineldine


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
departmental thinking


Explanation:
A misuse; I'm certain this should be "departmental" thinking, which is not thinking beyond the interests of one's own immediate surroundings - hence not considering how the department's interests affect other departments, or the company as a whole.

David Moore
Local time: 00:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 12

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Alaa Zeineldine: David, I think compartmental here refers to how one's mind organizes the focus rather than the object itself, which would be the department in this case. So the mind has the us and them compatments, rather than the "we".
7 mins

agree  seaMount: I think compartmental is used correctly, but your explanation fits the message and the context (see: http://www.lettersfrombabylon.com/2004/11/natural_capital.ht...
2 hrs

neutral  Deborah Workman: "Compartmental thinking" is definitely a term. It may be that a manager's thinking is compartmentalized to his/her department only, but the compartmentalization may be with respect to authority, race, opportunity, anything at all.
4 hrs

agree  Ernesto de Lara
5 hrs

disagree  Trada inc.: the one might lead to the other, but one should stick to the text
6 hrs
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14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
thinking "inside the box"


Explanation:
Exactly what is 'Thinking Outside the Box'?
... Exactly what is 'Thinking Outside the Box'? ... Outside the Box Thinking outside the box requires different attributes that include: ...
www.canadaone.com/ezine/ april02/out_of_the_box_thinking.html


Thinking Outside The Box
Thinking Outside the Box means thinking beyond the parameters of human consciousness and ... We exist inside the box - the physical plane - but we soon evolve our ...
www.crystalinks.com/outofbox.html -

airmailrpl
Brazil
Local time: 19:11
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Swantje Holtken
1 hr
  -> thank you

agree  Asghar Bhatti
2 hrs
  -> thank you

agree  Deborah Workman
4 hrs
  -> thank you

neutral  RHELLER: can't see any connection whatsoever
6 hrs
  -> sorry for you

disagree  Trada inc.: same as Rita // your sorrow is pointless
6 hrs
  -> and sorry for you..no suggestion from you - just disagrees

disagree  Charlie Bavington: in/outside the box is more = 'within/beyond conventional notions". Compartmental is more = in isolation. There's a difference. While it's true that compartmental thinking is likely to be 'inside the box', they are not synonymous.
14 hrs
  -> -
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +9
not thinking across the board


Explanation:
I've checked a few sites using this term, and I'm pretty sure that's what it means: compartmental thinking is the inability to think across the board, the tendency to look at each matter in isolation of other matters, while in reality they are all linked together. In your text, managers are asked to assume responsibility for XYZ as a whole, not looking at each problem/ department (etc.) in isolation.

See here for example:
"tend to focus on the singular aspects of the realm of creation, isolating them from other parts, and the result will be compartmental thinking and struggle for ..."
catalystresources.org/issues/182krisiansen.html



--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 1 hr 22 mins (2004-12-03 09:56:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

i.e. every matter, problem, whatever is placed in a closed compartment.

Nesrin
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Arabic
PRO pts in category: 12
Grading comment
thanks!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Alaa Zeineldine: I think that's correct Nesrin. It means not being able to see that the parts constitute a whole.
1 hr

agree  Jörgen Slet
3 hrs

agree  Deborah Workman: Although re:Alaa's point, "compartmentalized" thinking is not always negative. Sometimes it is important to focus and avoid distractions, in which case "compartmentalization" is an asset. In this case, tho', the managers indeed need to think holistically.
3 hrs

agree  conejo
5 hrs

agree  Trada inc.
5 hrs

agree  Neil Phillipson
10 hrs

agree  Charlie Bavington: "looking at each matter in isolation" hits the nail squarely on the head.
13 hrs

agree  Judith Kerman
19 hrs

agree  humbird
1 day18 hrs
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +3
blinkered thinking i.e. as though the manager cannot see the bigger picture


Explanation:
For managers this means NOT just thinking in relation to their own department and activities but taking account of the activities of all the other parts of the company, seeing the bigger picture, as it were and how what they do fits into a bigger whole

xxxCMJ_Trans
Local time: 00:11
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 8

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Veronica Prpic Uhing: Yes indeed
4 hrs

agree  conejo
4 hrs

agree  Judith Kerman
19 hrs
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9 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
self-centered thinking


Explanation:
When a manager worries only about what he/she is responsible for. Makes sure his department's responsibilities are met and its interests are protected without looking at the bigger picture. It is like being isolationist at the corporate level.

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Note added at 42 mins (2004-12-03 09:17:06 GMT)
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Follow-up to my comment below, David may have been describing \"compartmental thinking\" as uncommon rather than self-centered thinking. I guess I was a bit self-centered in the way I understood his remark! Anyway, I have heard the expression \"compartmental thinking\" used on occasion, I don\'t believe that each time I heard it, it meant exactly the same thing (does anything?) In this case however, I think the context leads to the meaning I suggested above.

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Note added at 5 hrs 57 mins (2004-12-03 14:31:41 GMT)
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Given the contributions so far, I would favor Nesrin\'s answer over this one. She addressed the meaning of compartmentalizing more correctly. I will not delete my answer just to preserve the discussion.

Alaa Zeineldine
Egypt
Local time: 00:11
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  David Moore: Sorry, Alaa, but this is far narrower even than "compartmental thinking", whatever THAT may be. It's NOT an expression in common use....hence, it's a mistaken usage. (Added) In any case, to me as an ENS, this goes far further than the writer's intention.
9 mins
  -> Thanks David, mistaken usage perhaps, but in what way is "self-centered thinking" uncommon?

agree  Henrique Serra: that makes a lot of sense to me
25 mins
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