Communication Accommodation Theory predicts to what extent individuals accommodate their verbal and nonverbal behaviour by converging it towards their conversation partner or diverging it away from them to gain social approval and to decrease social distance. Especially individuals in lower hierarchy positions accommodate their communication behaviour towards individuals in higher hierarchy positions. Nowadays, computer- and smartphone-mediated communication are common ways to communicate, for example via instant messaging. However, instant messenger lack in transporting nonverbal cues. To fill this gap, emoji are used increasingly. A study was conducted to examine how individuals in lower hierarchy positions converge their emoji usage towards individuals in higher hierarchy position. The results support the assumption that the higher hierarchy is perceived, the more emoji accommodation is shown.
Kroll, Tobias; Braun, Lea-Marie; and Stieglitz, Stefan, "Accommodated Emoji Usage: Influence of Hierarchy on the Adaption of Pictogram Usage in Instant Messaging" (2018). ACIS 2018 Proceedings. 82.