Chapter VI Informational and Communicational Explanations of Corporations as Interaction Systems

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Richard J. Varey

The Waikato Management School, New Zealand

Abstract

Whilst many proponents of “interactive communication” and “social

interaction” do not see the concept as problematic, they focus attention

on practices. I choose to re-examine both “interaction” and

“communication,” and to relate these concepts to the concepts of society

and organisation/corporation1. The concept of “interaction” is examined,

and social interaction is considered as exchange. The patterning of social

interaction in markets, bureaucracies, solidarity groupings, and cooperative

collectives, and their respective core values are considered. The

“organization” is explained as a complex dynamic interaction system. An

alternative sociological analysis of the social is compared with that of the

social psychology tradition. Communication is discussed as a mode of

interaction, to reveal monologic and dialogic conceptions of

communication. Conclusions are raised around the themes of “interactive

communication,” IT, and dialogue and appreciation in a society constituted

by interaction. Interaction, it is concluded, requires presence, whereas

ICT allows absence.