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E-mail and Behavioral Changes by Fernando Lagrana

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4Challenges in Communication

We are all in a desert. No one understands anyone else.

Gustave Flaubert

4.1. Interpersonal communication: a subtle tool

Electronic communications are used in various ways, in the private sphere as well as in professional environments. However, besides form and technology, the challenge is communication between individuals.

Communication also plays a fundamental role in the world of work. With the change from a manufacturing industry economy to a service industry economy and then to a knowledge economy, professional and managerial activities are centered more and more on communication. In a modern work environment, communication generally occurs in electronic form (e-mail, instant messaging, cellphones, telephones, broadband mobile devices, etc.) [KAR 04]. According to Karsenty and Lacoste, “the change in work generates intensification in professional communications”, essentially because of the need to coordinate activities of the different partners involved.

Furthermore, it’s the role given to language that is changing. Once believed to be descriptive, language has become active. When we speak to someone, we do not just wish to say something, but also do something, and in particular to change the other person’s perspective and, if possible, their objectives [KAR 93], and thus to push them to act in accordance with our own discourse. The role of language has become more complex and mastering language to sustain its interlocutors’ perceptions and ...

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