Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Julie Apker
Dr. Leigh Ford
Dr. Autumn Edwards
Facebook, workplace, superior, subordinate, dialectic
Masters Thesis-Open Access
This thesis project explores how Facebook friendship transforms the relationship between superior-subordinate dyads in the workplace through the lens of relational dialectics theory. A convenience sample of five superior-subordinate dyads (N=10) was used. Criteria for participation included: the superior must be full time and must be the subordinate's direct superior, the subordinate must work at least part time, both must have worked in the organization for at least three months, and the two must be friends on Facebook who communicate at least weekly through the site. This study utilizes qualitative, face-to-face, in-depth participant interviews. The interview questions are open-ended in order to garner specific examples from participants regarding the presence of dialectical tensions. Two relational dialectics are strongest in the sample: autonomy/connectedness and openness/closedness. Participants use a variety of deliberate communication techniques to manage these tensions. Conclusions are drawn through coding of participant interviews regarding relational dialectics and communication management techniques present in the data.
Hellenga, Raquel, "How Facebook Friendship Transforms the Superior-Subordinate Relationship: A View from Relational Dialectics Theory" (2012). Masters Theses. 90.