Winograd and Flores illustrated how a language-action perspective can guide design with a model they called the "Conversation for Action." This is a loop in which one person makes a request that is agreed to and fulfilled by another person. This universal pattern of human communication was a significant contribution to the developing field of Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and the basis of the Coordinator workflow tool. However, there was also criticism. For Lucy Suchman, the Coordinator was not an enabler of human responsibility but rather an instrument of management control based on a rationalistic perception of work [1]. In retrospect, it is fair to say the speech-act based approach of communication indeed had a slightly rationalistic bias. However, the bottom line remains relevant: not only that commitments are being made in conversations, but that this important aspect of communication should be recognized when we analyze or try to change organizational processes.

« The conversation for action loop »

A quote saved on Feb. 26, 2013.


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