Understanding obstacles preventing compliance: Conceptualization and classification

Danette E. Ifert, Michael E. Roloff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Although the obstacle hypothesis has proven useful in understanding communication choices during request sequences, its utility is limited by the lack of explication of the obstacle construct. This article examines the types of obstacles that may be perceived and dimensions that differentiate them. Results suggest that six types of obstacles - possession, imposition, inappropriateness, postpone, no incentive, and recalcitrance - are perceived by individuals in request interactions. These obstacles appear to be distinguishable in the degree to which they reflect unwillingness to comply, inability to comply, and personal characteristics of the requester. The discussion section explores the implications of this conceptualization on understanding request interactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-153
Number of pages23
JournalCommunication Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding obstacles preventing compliance: Conceptualization and classification'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this