Technology Support for Communication and Understanding

Abstract

As the Internet and related technologies for communication change, the role of communication in the conduct of business changes with it. Communication used to be viewed as a technical problem of separating signal from noise and managing bandwidth. Now it is a social matter in which negotiating differences in understanding among communicators is a primary business priority. Addressing this priority requires an understanding of how individuals interact in the course of their decision making activities. Using the work of Anthony Giddens as a point of departure, this paper views interaction in communication as consisting of three dimensions – meaning, authority, and trust. These three dimensions are used to identify new opportunities for advances in decision making technology that help deal with potential breakdowns in social interaction.