Overly Casual Emails in the Workplace

Project Abstract

The requirements, expectations, and desires of supervisors are important to meet as young people graduate from college and enter a workforce where intergenerational differences in digital communication patterns are a concern. Navigating the relationship between supervisor and subordinate is paramount for professional success. To better understand the communication needs that supervisors hold, this research will examine appropriate and inappropriate messages deployed in the supervisor/subordinate relationship within organizations. This research article will provide a brief overview of literature on supervisor/subordinate communication and organizational communication competence. The current study utilizes both Interaction Adaptation Theory and Expectancy Violation Theory as lenses to examine overly casual messages in the workplace. Following data collection, we will detail factors that influence supervisors’ willingness to comply with the requests of their subordinates, such as the supervisor’s levels of familiarity with the subordinate, the supervisor’s attitude toward informal messaging, and the supervisor’s perception of their subordinate’s credibility. Although digital technologies make it easier to send messages, it is more important now than ever that we develop the communication skills required to navigate professional relationships and, in effect, improve workplace communication.

Funding Type

Research Grant

Academic College

Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business


Organizational Communication


Master of Science




Geoffrey Luurs

Academic College

Arthur J. Bauernfeind College of Business

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