Publication and recognition for Stephen Spates

Dr. Stephen Spates, assistant professor in the department of communication, successfully defended his dissertation “Exploring Workplace Connections of Employees with Multiple Role Expectations: Accommodating Communication Behaviors of Hospital Chaplains” at the University of Tennessee.

Recent accomplishments


Spates has the following 2017 peer-reviewed publication:
  • Westerman, C. Y. K., Spates, S. A., Reno, K. M., Jenkins, E. W., & Lee, H. E. (2017). How Koreans and Americans use voice and silence to restore equity in workplace friendships. Ewha Journal of Social Sciences, 33, 181-223.


Workplace friendships develop because of increased proximity at work, creating the potential for inequity across both work and personal roles. Using communication to manage inequity in workplace friendships contributes to positive organizational outcomes. An experimental survey was conducted to learn more about voice and silence responses to inequity in workplace friendships in both Korea and the United States. This study extends equity theory across two cultures in the context of workplace friendships and communication responses. Message access exclusivity was also tested as a potential precursor to voice and silence responses. Working adults from both the U.S. and Korea were surveyed to learn their responses. Findings of the study are reported and implications of the findings are discussed.

Recognition from alma mater

This spring, Spates also received recognition from Oakwood University (where he received his Bachelor of Arts). He was included in the Oakwood Magazine feature “120 Faces of Oakwood University,” which was created in honor of the university’s 120th anniversary.
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