Communicative Rationality, Strategy, and Intersubjectivity: Results From a Quasi-Experimental Investigation

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This article presents some results from an investigation of the concept of strategy through the lens of the Habermasian concept of communicative rationality. It draws upon the theory of communicative action to posit "intersubjectivity" (the degree to which interlocutors assess themselves as engaged in ideal-type communication) as the means through which communicative and strategic orientations are reconciled in interaction. The research involved a quasi-experimental study in which two sets of teams playing a negotiation-intensive board game differed in terms of the orienting information they received. Players oriented toward the strategic aspect of the game initially reported lower intersubjectivity with nonteammates than did players oriented toward the communicative features of the game. By the end of the game, this difference was no longer observed. These results are consistent with the fundamental Habermasian precept of the primacy of communication over strategy, so that a communicative orientation persists even in the face of a clearly strategic context of interaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)130-139
Number of pages10
JournalAtlantic Journal of Communication
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication


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