The adaptation of complaints to participation frameworks

Joseph A. Bonito, Stacy L. Wolski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Among the strategic uses of various communication media is the practice of addressing and sending messages to multiple participants. The present study was a test of the hypothesis that the participation framework within which a message is sent and the sender's level of message design logic interact to affect message content. Participants sent complaints via email either to a target or to a target and a third‐party peer. Complaints were segmented into thought‐units, with each thought‐unit subsequently categorized according to its junction. The results showed that the two factors interacted to affect complaining, such that persons with conventional and rhetorical design logics often adapted messages to the target‐peer condition, whereas persons with expressive design logics generally did not. Discussion focuses on the implications for research on participation, complaining, and message design logics, as well as for the study of mediated communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)252-268
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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