McBride Publishes Article on Work Spouses

chad mcbrideChad McBride, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies, and his co-authors (Dr. Allison Thorson at University of San Francisco and Dr. Karla Bergen at College of Saint Mary) published an article on work spouses and Facework as the lead article in the journal Communication Studies - An Examination of Individually Performed and (Co)Managed Facework: Unique Communication within the Work-Spouse Relationship.

In this research they teased out the ways this relationship is communicatively distinct from other close work relationships. First, they found that work spouses present themselves in unique ways compared to other coworkers through their (co)management of each other’s positive and negative face needs. Specifically, whereas coworkers typically felt the need to present themselves positively and as competent/professional, work spouses allowed one another to see the sides of each other that they would have otherwise deemed threatening to their desired public/work image. Second, they found that work spouses threats to each other’s positive face (e.g., critiques, pointing out of flaws, etc.) – when compared to those coming from other coworkers – were often perceived as more beneficial and supportive because they were viewed as altruistic. Last, because work spouses have a certain level of knowledge about each other’s face expectations and intentions (i.e., they are attuned when a threat to positive face would not be beneficial), they would adjust their communication to serve the best interests of their work spouse. All in all, this research adds to the literature on the ways communication within these relationships is unique.

Chad McBride, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Communication Studies, and his co-authors (Dr. Allison Thorson at University of San Francisco and Dr. Karla Bergen at College of Saint Mary) published an article on work spouses and Facework as the lead article in the journal Communication Studies - An Examination of Individually Performed and (Co)Managed Facework: Unique Communication within the Work-Spouse Relationship.

In this research they teased out the ways this relationship is communicatively distinct from other close work relationships. First, they found that work spouses present themselves in unique ways compared to other coworkers through their (co)management of each other’s positive and negative face needs. Specifically, whereas coworkers typically felt the need to present themselves positively and as competent/professional, work spouses allowed one another to see the sides of each other that they would have otherwise deemed threatening to their desired public/work image. Second, they found that work spouses threats to each other’s positive face (e.g., critiques, pointing out of flaws, etc.) – when compared to those coming from other coworkers – were often perceived as more beneficial and supportive because they were viewed as altruistic. Last, because work spouses have a certain level of knowledge about each other’s face expectations and intentions (i.e., they are attuned when a threat to positive face would not be beneficial), they would adjust their communication to serve the best interests of their work spouse. All in all, this research adds to the literature on the ways communication within these relationships is unique.