Communication Studies


Master of Arts (MA)


Faith Mullen

Primary Subject Area

Business Administration, General; Mass Communications; Psychology, Behavioral


Coworker Relationship, Friendship Relationship, Narrative Paradigm Theory, Relationship Development, Relationship Maintenance, Relationship Strength


Relationships between individuals fashion themselves in many settings and on various levels. Friendships are pivotal relationships that significantly contribute to social life, health and well-being, job satisfaction, and workplace interaction. More specifically, coworker friendship relationships are unique in their length, measurement, development, and maintenance as their formation occurs within mutually shared environments outside of family relationships. This study employed a mixed methods procedure to specifically examine these relationships. Three research questions guided the first study in an attempt to find if gender and length of friendship relationships significantly affect strength measurements of the relationship. The second study was guided by two additional research questions and employed Fisher's Narrative Paradigm Theory as a method for collecting stories on how coworker friendship relationships are developed and maintained. Data were collected from 51 participants by way of survey administration. From the 51 survey participants, ten participants were randomly selected to complete an interview. The responses were analyzed with regards to organizational settings--workspace, proximity, and commonalities.