Accommodation in email and the influence of organizational culture.


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Understanding how organizational members engage with email is essential to facilitating healthy interpersonal relationships and providing insight into the influence of organizational culture on members’ behaviors. Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT) recognizes communication as a dynamic process between individuals and explores the intersection of language, identity, and context. Organizational culture defines the context in which organizational members learn to thrive in organizations. This study tested the application of CAT, exploring the impact of context on email behavior among organizational members. Participants identified the culture of the organization to which they belong and responded to randomly assigned email scripts. Six total scripts were used throughout the study, equally containing female and male gender language cues. The mean culture was calculated for each participant and script responses were globally coded. Accommodation to gendered-language cues occurred in two of the four cultures examined, indicating a relationship between culture and accommodation behavior in email among users.