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Are Women Tending and Befriending in the Workplace? Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Workplace Friendships and Organizational Outcomes

Abstract

This study investigated gender differences in the perceived benefits of workplace friendships and the relationship between friendship factors and organizational outcomes. Four hundred and forty-five respondents from predominantly Western countries including New Zealand, Australia and America completed an Internet based questionnaire which asked them to describe the benefits received from workplace friends, and which measured workplace friendship and organizational variables. Friendship prevalence and opportunities were more strongly correlated with job satisfaction for men. Women were significantly more likely than men to describe the benefits of workplace friendship in terms of social and emotional support in times of stress, while men focused mainly on the benefits friends provided them in their career or in functional aspects of ‘getting the job done’.

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Correspondence to Rachel L. Morrison.

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Morrison, R.L. Are Women Tending and Befriending in the Workplace? Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Workplace Friendships and Organizational Outcomes. Sex Roles 60, 1 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11199-008-9513-4

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Keywords

  • Friendship
  • Job satisfaction
  • Social support
  • Gender
  • Stress