Self-disclosure and Privacy Gratitude Communication in Organizations

Open Access
Greenberg, Courtney Paige
Area of Honors:
Letters, Arts, and Sciences (Abington)
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Ross S Brinkert, Thesis Supervisor
  • Debra Casey, Honors Advisor
  • gratitude
  • communication
  • relational dialectics
  • communication privacy management
It has been established that gratitude is expressed interpersonally as a response to receiving a benefit for a gift. This thesis examines interviews conducted within the workplace that focus on the communication of gratitude in people’s work life. Some people may be strategic about managing self-disclosure and privacy issues during gratitude communication in organizations. The main focus of this thesis is to determine reasons why people choose to express gratitude privately or publicly. The following study suggests that private expressions of gratitude are either due to organizational reasons, the nature of the topic, or the relationship between the sender and receiver. Alternatively, public expressions of gratitude are either due to internal organizational reasons, external organizational reasons, or to recognize the great work of multiple individuals. While this study includes a limited number of interviews, there is still the opportunity to use the findings to enhance gratitude interactions between people and to ultimately build an extensive typology of gratitude communication in organizations.