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Comparing Human-to-Human and Human-to-AEA Communication in Service Encounters
University of Borås, School of Business and IT.
University of Borås, School of Business and IT.
University of Borås, School of Business and IT.
2013 (English)In: Journal of Business Communication, ISSN 0021-9436, E-ISSN 1552-4582, Vol. 50, no 1, p. 87-116Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

An increasing number of companies are introducing artificial agents as self-service tools on their websites, often motivated by the need to provide cost-efficient interaction solutions. These agents are designed to help customers and clients to conduct their business on the website. Their role on commercial websites is often to act as online sales/shopping assistants with the hope of replacing some of the interactions between customers and sales staff, thus supplementing or replacing human-to-human communication. However, research on artificial agents and comparisons with human-to-human communication, in particular, is still scarce. The purpose of this article is to explore the similarities and differences in communication between an artificial agent and customers compared with face-to-face communication between human service providers and customers. The method employed is a qualitative comparison of face-to-face human service provision in a travel agency setting and logs of interactions between customers and an artificial agent on an airline company website. The analysis is based on the theory of “activity-based communication analysis” and makes use of a framework of specific communication features provided by this theory. The article demonstrates a number of deficiencies in communication between artificial embodied agents and humans, suggesting that artificial embodied agents still lack many of the desirable communicative aspects of human-to-human service encounters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
SAGE , 2013. Vol. 50, no 1, p. 87-116
Keywords [en]
computer-mediated communication, interpersonal communication, service encounters, artificial embodied agents, activity-based communication analysis, Services marketing, Technology in services, Human-Computer-Interaction, Communication
National Category
Business Administration Information Systems Communication Studies
Research subject
Business and IT
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-1355DOI: 10.1177/0021943612465180Local ID: 2320/11600OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-1355DiVA, id: diva2:869379
Available from: 2015-11-13 Created: 2015-11-13 Last updated: 2018-03-18Bibliographically approved

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Salomonson, NicklasLind, MikaelAlm, Håkan

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