Interactional perspective on environmental communication in construction projects
Journal article, 2009
Drawing on theories of social interaction, a critical discourse analysis approach is used to examine the resources and constraints on environmental-communication practices in four construction projects in Sweden. The assumption is that talk and action work together to construct, maintain and change organizational structure, social practices, and contractual arrangements. The empirical data were collected through in-depth interviews and field observations where photo documentation was extensively used. The study showed mismatches between information and action, both within the project and between the project and its stakeholders. The mismatches were not caused by a lack of information, but rather by inconsistencies between the communication cultures, the status of the communicator, and the tools used to mediate the information, e.g. the media, discourses and genres used. These discrepancies resulted in a lack of engagement in environmental work in the projects. If environmental and other performances in construction projects are to be improved, more effort needs to be exerted on understanding the dynamics of the social context, human interaction, and the mediating tools used to communicate. This paper suggests an approach that can enhance such an understanding.