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This research investigated the concept of communicative competence. A definition and a five-component model of communicative competence is proposed. Interaction management, empathy, affiliation/support, behavioral flexibility, and social relaxation are identified as components of competence, with interaction management playing a central role. In an experiment designed to partially test the model, 239 Ss were assigned to evaluate a confederate's role-played communicative competence in one of four interaction management treatment conditions. Results indicated a strong, positive, linear relationship between interaction management and communicative competence. Positive correlations between competence and other components of the model were observed. The competent communicator is thus described as empathic, affinitive and supportive, and relaxed while interacting; he is capable of adapting his behavior as the situation within an encounter changes and as he moves from encounter to encounter. The manner in which the interaction is managed contributes, in part at least, to his fellow interact ants' perceptions of his competence.