Organizational level and friendship expectation at work
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The literature on interpersonal interactions/relationships in work organizations indicates that personnel at higher organizational levels are more sociable and yet have workplace impersonality. This study unravels previous inconsistencies by examining employees’ friendship expectations across organizational levels. Data were collected from 222 full-time employees with a variety of occupational backgrounds in Taiwan. The results indicated that expectations of instrumental friendship at work did not differ across organizational levels. However, higher-level employees had lower expectations of expressive friendship at work, which provides personal emotional satisfaction, while detracting from workplace competitive advantage. The findings of this study shed new light on previous inconsistencies and the mutually contradictory organizational stances on workplace friendship. Significant implications are provided for dilemmas concerning isolated offices, ‘management by walking around’ and workplace relationships.
Keywordsorganizational level friendship expectations at work workplace relationships isolated office management by walking around
We thank three anonymous reviewers and John Billingsley for helpful comments on earlier versions of this article.
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