Social Construction of Technology in Organizational Communication

Dewinta Puristia, Irwansyah Irwansyah


The development of technology and innovation is assumed to change the human
communication behavior and even alter the communication process likes computermediated communication that affects interpersonal relationships in the personal and professional life of an individual (West and Turner, 2010: 524), including in organizational life. Within organizational context, the expectation of the use new communication technology in order to improve productivity and efficiency by applying ideas to build interactivity and responsive networks between organizations and their publics (Cheney, 2004: 350) both internal and external public. The environment of the modern organization has always been technological, but this has been understood in a number of distinct ways. For example, seen as collections of rationalized and instrumental practices, organizations themselves have been regarded as technologies in which effective information and communication processes are critical (Taylor, 1911, Thompson 1967 in Jackson, et al., 2001: 1). When it viewed from the Interactionist perspectives, the communication process occurs in a social context in which the interpretation, attitude and use of communication technology in an organization are built together in the social context. This condition alienates the organization from the assumptions of technological determinism which assumes that the new communications technology 'determines' what changes occur within the organization (Pace and Faules, 2005: 232). The view of technological determinism does not take into account that the behavior of organizational members, as human beings, requires the relationship and interpretation (Pace and Faules, 2005: 232) of technology which is constructed from social interactions between groups of organizations that brings closer into the perspective of the social construction of technology. To those who work in organizations and use the new communication technology, sometime there may be the unplanned changes within the organization. The fundamental point is the communication process and communication technology is not perceived as an objective, value-free entities, but socially constructed (Rice 1992 in Pace and Faules, 2005: 233). It suggests that members of the organization have discretion in interpreting the technology used by organizations where such interpretation is usually the result of social construction. The discretion in interpreting this technology explicitly leads to a concept of flexibility interpretive that refers to the social construction of technology approach (Pinch and Bijker 1984: 419)

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