Task-based interaction : the interactional and sequential organization of task-as-workplan and task-in-process
This thesis investigates the interactional properties and sequential organization of tasks. The analysis is framed around the notion that tasks can be investigated from a task as- workplan or task-in-process perspective. However, past and current interpretations of tasks have been taken primarily from a task-as-workplan perspective. The point of departure for this thesis is not only the emphasis put on task-in-process, but also the reconciliation of both perspectives. That is, this thesis examines whether a task does what it is claimed to do. The difference between what is planned, and what occurs, is at the heart of construct validity. This assumption will be investigated by analyzing the relationship between task-as-workplan and turn-taking and repair. The findings demonstrate that although task-as-workplan can influence interaction, the decision to talk in a particular way or form occurs during task-in-process. Specifically, the participatory structure of tasks, which distributes referential information to tasktakers, limits turn-taking and repair opportunities. For example, the ability to initiate and maintain the floor in tasks is largely dependent on the amount of information each tasktaker is provided. Despite this influence, considerable task-in-process variation occurs. It is later claimed that in order to provide a comprehensive picture of task-based interaction, both perspectives must be taken into consideration. This requires researchers to adopt a more holistic and detailed approach to the investigation of task-based interaction.