Advertisement

Sex Roles

, Volume 25, Issue 3–4, pp 163–180 | Cite as

Male-female relationships in the workplace: Perceived motivations in office romance

  • Claire J. Anderson
  • Caroline Fisher
Article

Abstract

A survey of 218 recent business school graduates confirmed prior studies of differential evaluation of women involved in workplace romances. The research addressed whether women are still perceived as entering into relationships for motives different from men, particularly in terms of exploiting sexuality for gain. Few instances were found where relationships were formed for personal advancement; however, motivations for personal gain were far more commonly attributed to women. Women were also more likely to be perceived as victims of the office “fling.” Attributions did not differ between male and female observers. Implications for working women are discussed.

Keywords

Social Psychology School Graduate Business School Differential Evaluation Personal Gain 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alreck, P., & Settle, R. (1985). The survey research handbook. Homewood, IL: Irwin.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, C., & Hunsaker, P. (1985). Why there's romancing at the office and why it's everyone's problem. Personnel, 62, 57–63.Google Scholar
  3. Backhouse, C., & Cohen, L. (1978). The secret oppression: Sexual harassment of working women. Canada: The MacMillan Company.Google Scholar
  4. Bowen, D. D. (1985) Were men meant to mentor women? Training and Development Journal, 39, 31–33.Google Scholar
  5. Bradford, D. L., Sargent, A. G., & Sprague, M. S. (1980). The executive man and woman: the issue of sexuality. In D. A. Neugarten & J. M. Shafritz, (Eds.), Sexuality in organizations (3rd ed.). Oak Park, IL: Moore Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  6. Brenner, O. C., Tomkiewicz, J., & Schein, V. E. (1989). The relationship between sex role stereotypes and requisite management characteristics revisited. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 662–669.Google Scholar
  7. Brewer, M. B., & Berk, R. A. (Eds.). (1982). Beyond nine to five. [Special issue]. Journal of Social Issues, 38(4).Google Scholar
  8. Bureau of National Affairs. (1987). Sexual harassment: Employer policies and problems. (PPF Survey No. 144). Washington, DC: Bureau of National Affairs.Google Scholar
  9. Bureau of National Affairs. (1988). Corporate affairs: Nepotism, office romance, & sexual harassment. Washington, DC: Bureau of National Affairs.Google Scholar
  10. Burke, R. J., & McKeen, C. A. (1990). Mentoring in Organizations: Implications for women. Journal of Business Ethics, 9, 317–332.Google Scholar
  11. Burke, R. J., & McKeen, C. A. (1988). Corporate affairs: Nepotism, office romance, & sexual harassment. Washington, DC: Bureau of National Affairs.Google Scholar
  12. Collins, E. G. (1983). Managers and lovers. Harvard Business Review, 61, 140–152.Google Scholar
  13. Crary, M. (1987). Managing attraction and intimacy at work. Organizational Dynamics, 15, 27–41.Google Scholar
  14. Deaux, K., & Emswiller, T. (1974). Explanation of successful performance on sex-linked tasks. What is skill for the male is luck for the female. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 29, 80–85.Google Scholar
  15. Dubno, P. (1985). Attitudes towards women: A longitudinal approach. Academy of Management Journal, 28, 235–239.Google Scholar
  16. Engel, P. G. (1986, July 7). Employers liable: But court says they must have known of acts. Industry Week, pp. 25–26.Google Scholar
  17. Feather, N., & Simon J. (1975). Reactions to male and female success and failure in sex-linked occupations. Impressions of personality, causal attributions, and the perceived likelihood of different consequences. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 20–31.Google Scholar
  18. Feldman-Summers, S., & Kiesler, S. (1974). Those who are number two try harder: The effect of sex attributions of causality. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 846–865.Google Scholar
  19. Fernandez, J. P. (1988). New life for old stereotypes. Across the Board, 24, 24–25.Google Scholar
  20. Ford, R. C., & McLaughlin, F. S. (1987). Should Cupid come to the workplace? Personnel Administrator, 32, 100–110.Google Scholar
  21. Freedman, S. M., & Phillips, J. S. (1988) The changing nature of research on women at work. Journal of Management, 14, 231–251.Google Scholar
  22. Gutek, B., A., & Dunwoody, V. (1987). Understanding sex in the workplace. In A. H. Stromberg, L. Larwood, & B. A. Gutek (Eds.), Women and work: An annual review (Vol. 2). Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  23. Harragan, B. L. (1977). Games mother never taught you. New York: Rawson Associates.Google Scholar
  24. Heilman, M. E., & Martell, R. F. (1986). Exposure to successful women: Antidote to sex discrimination in applicant screening decisions? Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 37, 376–390.Google Scholar
  25. Jensen, I. W., & Gutek, B. A. (1982). Attributions and assignment of responsibility in sexual harassment. Journal of Social Issues, 38, 121–136.Google Scholar
  26. Korda, M. (1973). Male chauvinism: How it works. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  27. Mainiero, L. A. (1986). A review and analysis of dynamics in organizational romances. Academy of Management Review, 11, 750–762.Google Scholar
  28. Mainiero, L. A. (1988). Office romance: Love, power and sex in the workplace. New York: Rawson Associates.Google Scholar
  29. Mead, M. (1980). A proposal: We need taboos on sex at work. In D. A. Neugarten & J. M. Shafritz, (Eds.), Sexuality in organizations (3rd ed.). Oak Park, IL: Moore Publishing Company.Google Scholar
  30. Men at work: Is sex on their minds? (1989, January). Glamour, pp. 124–129.Google Scholar
  31. Mizruchi, E. H. (1983). Regulating society: Beguines, bohemians and other marginals. The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  32. Morgan, C. S., & Walker, A. J. (1983). Predicting sex role attitudes. Social Psychology Quarterly, 46, 148–151.Google Scholar
  33. Powell, G. N. (1986). What do tomorrow's managers think about sexual intimacy in the workplace? Business Horizons, 29, 30–35.Google Scholar
  34. Quinn, R. E. (1977). Management or romantic relationships in organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 22, 30–45.Google Scholar
  35. Schein, V. E. (1976). Women managers: How different are they? Paper presented to the American Psychological Association, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  36. Sex, workers, relationships. (1988, February 15). Newsweek, p. 52.Google Scholar
  37. Spruell, G. R. (1985). Daytime drama: Love in the office. Training and Development Journal, 39, 21–23.Google Scholar
  38. Thornton, A., Alwin, D. F., & Camburn, D. (1983). Causes and consequences of sex-role attitudes and attitude change. American Sociological Review, 48, 211–227.Google Scholar
  39. Tomkiewicz, J., & Brenner, O. C. (1982). Organizational dilemma: Sex differences in attitudes toward women held by future managers. Personnel Administrator, 27, 62–65.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claire J. Anderson
    • 1
  • Caroline Fisher
    • 2
  1. 1.Old Dominion UniversityUSA
  2. 2.Loyola UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations