Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Kimberly Golombisky, Ph.D.


Computer-mediated communication, Relationship management, Organizational communication, Computer-supported social networks (CSSNs), Public relations


This study explores the use of Facebook as a tool to build relationships at work among employees of global technology company Serena Software. Email interviews with 13 Serena Software employees demonstrated that the social network site is in fact building relationships among them. Participants attributed information sharing as the element that most helped them to build relationships with each other. The interviews revealed evidence of the characteristics of relationship quality: trust, commitment and satisfaction. However, participants expressed a different definition of the fourth characteristic - control mutuality - in their Facebook relationships. The results showed that participants did not define their Facebook relationships with colleagues as either communal or exchange. Research on social media is emerging because social media are relatively new compared to traditional media. This study is significant to organizational and public relations literature because it examines how social media can support internal organizational and public relations functions such as building relationships. Public relations research on employee-employee relationships is limited, so this study builds knowledge in that area. Furthermore, there appears to be no research on the use of Facebook to build employee relationships, making this study original.