How Do Aggressive Communication Traits Impact Organizational Assimilation?

[We’re pleased to welcome Michael Sollitto of Texas A&M University. Dr. Sollitto recently published an article in International Journal of Business Communication entitled “The Relationship Between Aggressive Communication Traits and Organizational Assimilation” with co-author Gregory A. Cranmer of Columbus State University.]

  • What inspired you to be interested in this topic?BPCQ/IJBC3.indd

We were inspired and interested in the topic of organizational assimilation because we were curious about the ways that people communicate affect how they establish themselves as contributors to their organizations. Organizational assimilation is such a fascinating topic, so the opportunity to research the relationship between aggressive communication traits and organizational assimilation was really appealing to us.

  • Were there findings that were surprising to you?

We were surprised about the magnitude with which indirect interpersonal aggressiveness hindered employees’ organizational assimilation.  We knew that indirect interpersonal aggressiveness was detrimental to organizational life, but it was fascinating to see to what extent it is a hindrance to organizational assimilation.

  • How do you see this study influencing future research and/or practice?

This study has the potential to be a stimulus for additional research about how specific communication traits are related to employees’ organizational assimilation.  The study can provide scholars one more example of how the way that people communicate can yield many outcomes in organizational life.

The abstract:

This study used theory of independent mindedness as a framework to examine the role of aggressive communication traits in organizational assimilation. Both employee traits and their perception of supervisor traits were examined. Results indicated that employees who are indirect verbally aggressive report lower levels of familiarity with coworkers, acculturation, involvement, job competence, and role negotiation. Additionally, employees who perceive their supervisors as higher in argumentativeness, low in verbal aggressiveness, and low in indirect interpersonal aggressiveness report higher levels of familiarity with coworkers, familiarity with supervisors, acculturation, recognition, involvement, and role negotiation.

You can read “The Relationship Between Aggressive Communication Traits and Organizational Assimilation” from International Journal of Business Communication free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to know all about the latest research from International Journal of Business Communication? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!


Dr. Michael Sollitto

Michael Sollitto is an assistant professor at Texas A&M University. He researches organizational assimilation and workplace relationships (peer coworker and supervisor-subordinate). His work has been published in Communication Research Reports, Communication Reports, Journal of Business Communication, Communication Education, and more journals.

Dr. Danna Gibson

Gregory A. Cranmer is an assistant professor at Columbus State University. Hresearches organizational assimilation and supervisor-subordinate relationships in nontraditional organizations. Currently, Dr. Cranmer serves as the secretary for the Organizational Communication Interest Group within the Eastern Communication Association, and has recently been elected as the Interest Group’s Chair for 2017.

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