The data reported were analyzed as part of the first author’s master’s thesis under the direction of the second author. A version of this paper was presented at the 2006 meeting of the National Communication Association, San Antonio.
The Dynamic Nature of Goals and Message Production as Revealed in a Sequential Analysis of Conflict Interactions
Version of Record online: 9 FEB 2007
Human Communication Research
Volume 33, Issue 1, pages 27–47, January 2007
How to Cite
Keck, K. L. and Samp, J. A. (2007), The Dynamic Nature of Goals and Message Production as Revealed in a Sequential Analysis of Conflict Interactions. Human Communication Research, 33: 27–47. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2958.2007.00287.x
- Issue online: 9 FEB 2007
- Version of Record online: 9 FEB 2007
Although message-production theories often assume that goals behave dynamically to direct communication behavior, few studies consider the interconnectedness of goals and behavior throughout interactions. Here, the interrelationship of communication goals and tactics was examined through a sequential analysis of 47 conflict interactions between close friends or dating partners. It was posited that for both the initiators and resistors in a conflict, the importance of relational or other-identity goals would be associated with the use of integrative tactics and the importance of instrumental or self-identity goals would be related to the use of distributive tactics. We examined these predictions within and across partners. Analyses indicated that for both conflict initiators and resistors, the importance of a combination self/instrumental goal predicted the use of distributive tactics and the importance of an other-identity goal lead to partner-oriented tactics. For resistors, the importance of an instrumental goal was associated with the use of distributive tactics and the importance of a combination identity/relational goal was aligned with issue-oriented tactics as well. Across partners, several significant patterns between one partner’s use of distributive or integrative tactics and the other partner’s goals were observed. Implications of the results for understanding conflict and message production are discussed.