Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Leah Omilion-Hodges

Second Advisor

Dr. Autumn Edwards

Third Advisor

Dr. Kathleen Propp


leader-member exchange, memorable messages, women in the workplace, vocational anticipatory socialization, workplace communication

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Communication scholars continue to affirm the importance of organizational members to develop strong relational ties with those in their workgroup. This research focuses on women and considers relationship development via the memorable messages women receive prior to their entrance into the workplace. Further participants’ critical incidents or pivotal moments with managers are examined to consider how those experiences shape how women navigate workplace challenges and the leader-member relationship. Fifteen in-depth qualitative interviews resulted in the emergence of four themes: preparatory frameworks, the perception of trust, autonomy, and competence, adaptive communicative approaches, and socialized expectations. These findings call to attention the importance of explicit memorable messages in preparation of navigating the leader-member relationship, the role of communication in establishing trust and empowerment in the workplace, and the communicative challenges women face as they progress through their professional careers.

Included in

Communication Commons