Younger supervisors’ perceptions of intergenerational communication in the Sri Lankan workplace

Grace Ashna Jeevaratnam, Elizabeth Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Workplaces are increasingly seeing younger supervisors supervise older subordinates, reversing traditional norms. Using Communication Accommodation Theory, we investigated younger supervisors’ perceptions of communication with same-aged and older subordinates in Sri Lanka. Eighty young supervisors rated four vignettes describing formal and informal interactions with same-aged and older subordinates. Participants rated older subordinates’ communication as less accommodative and more nonaccommodative than same-aged subordinates, particularly in formal interactions. They rated their own communication as more polite and respectful with older than same-aged subordinates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • communication accommodation theory
  • intergenerational communication
  • organisational communication
  • supervisor-subordinate communication

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