Advice, defined as a recommendation for action in response to a problem, is a common form of interpersonal support and influence. Indeed, the advice we give and receive from others can be highly consequential, not only affecting us as recipients and advisors, but shaping outcomes for relationships, groups, and organizations. Some of those consequences are positive, as when advice promotes individual problem-solving, or enhances workgroup productivity. Yet advice can
also hide ulterior motives, threaten identity, damage relationships, and promote inappropriate action.
The Oxford Handbook of Advice provides a broad perspective on how advice succeeds and fails, systematically reviewing and synthesizing theory and research on advice from multiple disciplines, such as communication, psychology, applied linguistics, business, law, and medicine. Several chapters explore advice at different levels of analysis, focusing on advisor and recipient roles, advising interactions and relationships, and advice as a resource and connection in groups and networks.
Other chapters address advice in particular types of personal relationships (romantic, family) and professional contexts (workplace, health, education, therapy). Contributing authors also consider cultural differences, advice online, and the ethics of advising.
For scholars concerned with supportive communication, interpersonal influence, decision-making, social networks, and related communication processes at work, at home, and in society at large, this Handbook offers historical perspective, contemporary theoretical framing, methodological recommendations, and directions for future research. It also emphasizes practical application, offering clear, concise, and relevant "advice for advising" based on theory and research.
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Erina L. MacGeorge is an associate professor in Communication Arts and Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. Her research addresses social support and social influence, with a particular focus on advice, and includes the development of advice response theory, which explains advice outcomes for recipients as a function of message, advisor, situation, and recipient characteristics.
Lyn Van Swol is a professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Communication Arts department. Her research examines acceptance of information in social interactions, more specifically: information sharing and influence in group decision-making, utilization of advice, and deception in negotiations.