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Speech acts or communicative action?

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Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands


Systems for supporting communication in organizations should be founded on a theorY of language and communication. A well-known theorY for this purpose is speech act theorY. developed by Austin and Searle. Flores e.a. used this theorY for the design of TH E COORDINATOR. Speech act theorY however has some serious shortcomings which are brought to the fore by Habermas. His examination of Searle's theory leads to the development of an alternative theorY: the theorY of communicative action. In this paper both theories are described to the extent considered necessarY to discuss the shortcomings of the speech act theorY and to show the superiority of the theorY of communicative action. In addition the consequences of the latter for the design of communication supporting systems are revealed by a critical discussion of the fundamental assumptions and the practical design of THE COORDINATOR.


Dietz, Jan; Widdershoven, G. (1991): Speech acts or communicative action?. ECSCW 1991: Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer Supported Cooperative Work. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. ISBN: 978-94-011-3506-1. Full Papers. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 24-27 September 1991