Dr. Aakhus is Associate Professor in the School of Communication & Information (SC&I) at Rutgers University. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Communication with an emphasis in Management Information Systems and an M.A. from the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University.
Dr. Aakhus's research focuses on human creativity in fostering collaboration and managing conflict. He investigates the role of communication in managing complex situations through close examination of language, argument, and social interaction in professional practice, organizational processes, and information systems. His research develops the perspective that communication is a design practice and seeks to advance knowledge about augmenting human interaction and reasoning through technological and organizational interventions. This research informs professional education, promotes organizational and technological innovation, and inspires forms of engagement for creative problem solving.
Dr. Aakhus’s research appears in international publications on communication, organizations, new media and information systems, discourse, argumentation, and disputing processes. Funding for his research has been received from the Kellogg Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Sun Micro-Systems, Rutgers Academic Excellence Fund, and Rutgers Office of the Vice President for Research. He has given keynote addresses and special invited presentations at Uppsala University, University of Montreal, University of Colorado-Boulder, University of Amsterdam, Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, George Mason University, Penn State University, and the University of Lisbon as well as the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurement.
Dr. Aakhus has held several leadership positions in international research societies. He was Chair of the International Communication Association’s (ICA) Language and Social Interaction Division. He served on the Research Board for the National Communication Association (NCA) and was a co-founding chair of NCA’s Human Communication and Technology Division. Currently, he is a founding executive committee member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Special Interest Group on Pragmatist Information Systems Research. He has served on the editorial boards of Communication Theory, Communication Monographs, Argument & Advocacy, and Argumentation in Context and was an associate editor for the inauguration of Communication Measures and Methods.
Over the years, Dr. Aakhus has been engaged with his local communities through community service as dispute mediator and volunteer in local community justice programs in Iowa and Arizona and as an elected school board member and an appointment as an environmental commissioner in his local community in New Jersey.
Current research, teaching, and doctoral projects emphasize the following themes:
Social Responsibility, Accountability & Communication in the Business-Society Relationship
Social Media and Information Systems for Deliberation and Collective Intelligence
Communication design in organizational, policy, and managerial practice
Aakhus, M. (Ed.) (2010). Coding Argument in Social Interaction[Special Issue]. Communication Methods & Measures, 4 (1 & 2).
Katz, J. & Aakhus, M. (Eds.) (2002). Perpetual contact: Mobile communication, private talk, public performance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Translated: Katz, J. & Aakhus, M. (Eds.). (2004). Taemanaki kooshin no jidai: keetai bunka no tanjoo/The age of perpetual contact: The birth of mobile culture. Tokyo: NTT.
Aakhus, M. (2011). Crafting interactivity for stakeholder engagement: Transforming assumptions about communication in science and policy. Health Physics, 101(5), 531-535.
Aakhus, M. & Rumsey, E. (2010). Crafting supportive communication online: A communication design analysis of conflict in an online support group. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 38(1), 65-84.
Makoul, G., Zick, A., Aakhus, M., Neely, K., & Roemer, P. (2010). Using an online forum to encourage reflection about difficult conversations in medicine. Patient Education and Counseling, 79(1), 83-86.
Aakhus, M. (2007). Communication as design. Communication Monographs, 74(1), 112-117.
Moor, A. de & Aakhus, M. (2006). Argument support: From technologies to tools. Communications of the ACM 49(3), 93-98.
Aakhus, M. (2003). Neither naïve nor normative reconstruction: Dispute mediators, impasse, and the design of argumentation. Argumentation: An International Journal on Reasoning, 17(3), 265-290.
Aakhus, M. (1999). Science court: A case study in designing discourse to manage policy controversy. Knowledge, Technology, and Policy, 2(3), 20-37.
Aakhus, M. (2010). Transparency work and argumentation design in deliberation about business in society. In D. Gouran (Ed.), The functions of argument and social context: Selected papers from the 16th Biennial Conference on Argumentation (pp. 11-17). Washington, DC: National Communication Association.
Aakhus, M. (2009). The experiences of policy professionals in designing deliberation. In S. Jacobs (Ed.), Concerning argument: Selected papers from the 15th Biennial Conference on Argumentation (pp. 33-40). Washington, DC: National Communication Association.
Aakhus, M. & Ziek, P. (2008). Sustainability Communication: A role for IT and IS in Relating Business and Society. In P. J. Ågerfalk, M. Aakhus, & M. Lind (Eds.), Proceedings of the Inaugural Meeting of AIS SIGPrag (pp. 29-37). (Position paper).
Aakhus, M. (2004). Understanding the Socio-Technical Gap: A case of GDSS Facilitation. In G. Goldkuhl, M. Lind, & S. Cronholm (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2cd International Conference on Action in Language, Organisations, and Information Systems (pp. 137-148). Linköping, Sweden: Research Network VITS.
Aakhus, M. (1997). Settlement on the electronic frontier: The use of group decision support systems in argumentation management. In J. Klump (Ed.), Proceedings of the Tenth NCA/AFA Conference on Argumentation: Argument in a Time of Change—Definitions, Frameworks, and Critiques (pp. 132-137). Annandale, VA: National Communication Association.
Aakhus, M. & Lewinski, M. (2011). Argument analysis in large-scale deliberation. In E. Feteris, B. Garssen, F. Snoeck Henkemans (Eds.), Keeping in touch with pragma-dialectics (pp. 165-184). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Aakhus, M. & Vasilyeva, A. (2008). Managing disagreement space in multiparty deliberation. In F. H. van Eemeren & B. Garssen (Ed.), Controversy and Confrontation: Relating controversy analysis with argumentation theory (pp. 197-214). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Aakhus, M. (2007). Conversations for reflection: Augmenting transitions and transformations in expertise. McInerney, C.R. & Day, R.E. (Eds.), Re-thinking knowledge management: From knowledge objects to knowledge processes (pp. 1-20). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer-Verlag.
Aakhus, M. & Jackson, S. (2005). Technology, interaction, and design. In K. Fitch & R. Sanders (Eds.), Handbook of language and social interaction. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Ågerfalk, P. J., Aakhus, M. and Lind, M. (2010, April 29; 2010, May 4). Researching Open Innovation through Social Media—Part I: The Problem & Part II: The Exploration. Open Innovation Forum.