Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Major Professor

Emily Paskewitz

Committee Members

Jenny Crowley, Laura Miller


This study creates a measurable definition of unprofessional communication in the workplace. First, literature is explored, looking at the existing information (or lack thereof) about professional and unprofessional communication in the workplace, along with additional information about politeness norms. A brief definition of unprofessional communication is offered. Next, a method for the study is offered, using both quantitative and qualitative methods to examine perceptions of unprofessional communication in the workplace. Results are then given, showing communicative behaviors that are viewed as both professional and unprofessional in the workplace. Behaviors such as being appropriate or being polite were seen as professional, whereas being untimely or inappropriate are considered to be unprofessional in the workplace. Implications of the findings are then explored, showing that professional and unprofessional communication as terms are opposites and the initial definition is edited to align with the study results. Lastly, limitations and future research is discussed.

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