Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Management of Information System and Technology, PhD


School of Information Systems and Technology

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Terry Ryan

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Lorne Olfman

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Benjamin Schooley

Terms of Use & License Information

Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2011 Jesus Herman Canelon


According to researchers, face is an important possession carried by individuals into interactions with others. Face has been studied in diverse areas such as: politeness, compliance gaining, emotional discourse, negotiations, face-negotiation theory, and conflict. Perhaps because of its value, face can be vulnerable during conflict situations. Facework behaviors are the communicative strategies that people use during conflicts to protect face (theirs or others), threaten others' face, and to avoid or resolve conflicts. So far, studies about facework behaviors have focused on face-to-face interactions. Preliminary studies have shown: a. facework behaviors may affect the outcomes of online discussion teams, b. sex may play a role in the relationship between facework behaviors and online discussion outcomes, and c. conflicts among online discussion team members may influence discussion outcomes. This research explores more completely the role that facework behaviors play during conflicts, their influence on online discussion outcomes, and the role that sex plays in these matters. Data gathered from surveys and transcripts of participants' online discussion postings show that facework behaviors: a. influence conflict levels, b. influence the outcomes of the online discussion teams, and c. play a moderating role on the relationship between conflicts and online discussion outcomes. They also indicate that sex plays a moderating role in these relationships. Moreover, this study shows that the typology of facework behaviors, originally developed to describe face-related aspects of face-to-face interactions, has value in understanding online discussions.