An Analysis of Message Development, Delivery Strategies, Message Topics, Functional Consequences, and Social Responses of Requesting an Accommodation in the Workplace Due to a Chronic Health Condition
Ellsworth, Erin L.
University of Kansas
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By 2020, 157 million Americans will be living with a chronic health condition. Many will continue to work by requesting workplace accommodations such as changes to their work environment or work schedule. In interviews, 38 respondents reported the message development, delivery strategies, message topics, functional consequences, and social responses in requesting a workplace accommodation due to a chronic health condition, as well as provided advice to others who may face a similar situation. The study found that respondents deliberately developed messages, used consistent delivery strategies and demonstrated recurring patterns of topics. Their preparation, delivery, and messages revealed concerns with identity, relationships, and instrumental tasks, as well as concerns with positive and negative face. Overall, respondents reported more positive than negative responses from coworkers and supervisors. Interestingly, respondents' suggestions to others were inconsistent with the report of their experience.