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How much is too much? Effects of core concerns accommodativeness on emotion, credibility and integrative intention in supervisor-subordinate conflict negotiation

Piyawan Charoensap-Kelly (Corporate Communication and Public Affairs Division, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, USA)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 3 June 2021

Issue publication date: 27 July 2021




This study drew on the core concerns framework (CCF) and communication accommodation theory (CAT) to examine the direct and indirect effects of manager core concerns accommodativeness on employee integrative (i.e. cooperative) intention through the mediating role of positive emotional change and manager credibility (i.e. competence, trustworthiness and goodwill). Core concerns accommodativeness refers to the degree to which one responds to another’s socio-psychological needs.


A quasi-experimental design was used. A total of 339 working adults from various industries in the USA took an online questionnaire composed of manipulations, closed-ended and open-ended questions. Quantitative data was analyzed using a series of mediation analyses and triangulated with qualitative data.


The results showed that both accommodating and overaccommodating manager messages significantly improved employees’ emotional state, perception of manager credibility and integrative intention more than the underaccommodating message. Importantly, the manager communication accommodativeness increases employees’ positive emotional change which heightened the employees’ perception of manager trustworthiness which then stimulated employees’ integrative intention. Qualitative data surprisingly revealed that the overaccommodating message was regarded predominantly positively.


The mixed-methods approach of this study added deeper insight into the role of communication accommodation and emotion in supervisor-subordinate conflict negotiation, extending both the CCF and CAT literature. The findings also inform managers about how to effectively use the core concerns.



This research was part of the author’s dissertation. An earlier version of it was presented in the 2019 International Conference on Knowledge, Culture and Change in Organizations in Vancouver, Canada. I would like to thank my advisor, Dr John Meyer and all my committee members for their invaluable advice. Special thanks go to Dr Pavica Sheldon at the University of Alabama in Huntsville for her helpful insight and comments.

Disclosure Statement: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


Charoensap-Kelly, P. (2021), "How much is too much? Effects of core concerns accommodativeness on emotion, credibility and integrative intention in supervisor-subordinate conflict negotiation", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 574-598.



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