Computer-Mediated-Communication (CMC) Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) E-mail Design Communication Breakdowns Miscommunication Contextualization Mutual Understanding
Institute of Mathematics and Informatics Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Serdica Journal of Computing, Vol. 5, No 1, (2011), 39p-64p
This paper deals with communicational breakdowns and misunderstandings in computer mediated communication (CMC) and ways to
recover from them or to prevent them. The paper describes a case study
of CMC conducted in a company named Artigiani. We observed communication and conducted content analysis of e-mail messages, focusing on message exchanges between customer service representatives (CSRs) and their
contacts. In addition to task management difficulties, we identified communication breakdowns that result from differences between perspectives, and
from the lack of contextual information, mainly technical background and
professional jargon at the customers’ side.
We examined possible ways to enhance CMC and accordingly designed
a prototype for an e-mail user interface that emphasizes a communicational
strategy called contextualization as a central component for obtaining effective communication and for supporting effective management and control
of organizational activities, especially handling orders, price quoting, and
monitoring the supply and installation of products.