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Romance at Workplace

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Amrut Mody School Of Management


Workplace Romance


8th March, 2018

Submitted to:

Prof. Siddhartha Saxena

Submitted by:

Parth Rajdev

Fourth year iMBA-155


Introduction        3

Purpose of the Paper:        3

Overview of Workplace Romance        3

Suggested Conclusion        3

Literature        4

Definition related to area of paper        4

Motive for Workplace Romance        4

Theoretical model for the discussion of Workplace Romance        5

Theoretical model in current scenario        6

Surveys on Workplace Romance        7

Positive and Negative aspect of workplace romance        7

Example        9

1) Infosys: Phaneesh Murthy Case        9

2) Bill Clinton–Lewinsky scandal        9

Managerial Implications        10

Benefits HR manager will get:        10

Serious concerns of this practice        10

Conclusion        11


Purpose of the Paper:

Workplace Romance is an unexplored area of an organizational behaviour. This subject is very fascinated and a most trending topic for those who are interested in gossips. Many authors has written about the topics related to workplace romance but no one exactly explained about the negative effects of workplace romance and the way a organization should approach to such situations. Also we will investigate the overall impact of workplace romance on organizational productivity. As we know the the stronger the attraction between the two the higher the counter productivity which negatively affects job performance and distract them from their primary work. As we go ahead we will also discuss how workplace can lead to favouritism and biases in the organization at the time of considering for promotions, pay enhancements, increments, transfers etc. (LISA A. MAINIERO, 2012)

Overview of Workplace Romance

Workplace romance can stem from a variety of conditions including physical attraction, intellectual attraction, shared energy levels, and increased self-esteem from success as a team of two, and the forbidden nature of workplace romance in some work places. Opportunities for workplace romance to germinate and flourish arise from the multiplicity of experiences shared by co-workers who often have much in common. Work increasingly requires employees to spend long periods of time together engaged in meetings, corporate retreats, business travel and entertainment, and so on, culminating in the excitement of accomplishing work challenges (Cole, 2011)

Suggested Conclusion

Workplace romances, although they are conceptually distinct from sexually harassing behaviour, should be considered in the context of policy making, as workplace romance has its own implication and I have discussed it further in the examples given below. We speculate that employees, including investigators of harassment complaints, have set written rules for what they consider to be genuine and thus appropriate workplace romances. If that is so, organizations' managers need to be aware of the potentially biasing effects of previously dissolved workplace romances on responses to subsequent sexual harassment accusations. Doing so will help the organization learn from its own mistake and will make sure that they do not repeat it.


Definition related to area of paper

Romance: It is intimate gesture (& posture) by two living animals. (Either by male & female, male & male, female & female.) It includes activities like speaking, chatting, and making eye contact with each other. It also includes very intimate gestures and postures which may or may not be objectionable by others.

Office: The place or premise where you come for work, for which you are hired.

Textual harassment: Sending offensive messages or inappropriate messages through any medium. For ex. one is asking repeatedly for dates or abusing the others is a part of textual harassment.

Sexual harassment: Asking someone for sexual favours or advances against the condition affecting the employment. For ex: a senior employee asking for sexual favour from the junior in lieu of his promotion.

Motive for Workplace Romance

Three commonly perceived motives for employees' participation in a workplace romance

1. Seeking a long-term companion or spouse (love motive);

2. Seeking excitement, adventure, ego satisfaction, or sexual experience (ego motive);

3. Seeking advancement, security, power, financial rewards, lighter workloads, or more vacation time (job-related motive) (CHARLES A. PIERCE)

Individuals typically perceive a love motive as being genuine and appropriate, whereas they typically perceive ego and job-related motives as being less genuine and inappropriate (CHARLES A. PIERCE). It is not known, however, whether employees' motives for participating in a workplace romance affect judgments of responsibility regarding a subsequent sexual harassment accusation.

Theoretical model for the discussion of Workplace Romance

Although workplace romances (i.e. consensual, sexual relationships between two members of an organization) appear to be related to important organizational outcomes, they remain an understudied topic (CHARLES A. PIERCE). Although in 1996 author proposed the most comprehensive model of workplace romance to date, multiple aspects of the model remain untested and only a few studies have attempted to build upon the model. Specifically, the exploration of antecedents related to the decision to engage in a workplace romance remains understudied. Although Pierce (1996) model includes attitudes about workplace romances, organizational culture, and job autonomy as predictors of workplace romance, the inclusion of other variables may useful in better understanding why employees engage in workplace romances. In particular, examining employee personality and how frequently employees have engaged in previous workplace romances may help to predict employee attitudes about workplace romances and engagement in workplace romances. Additionally, as organizational culture and organizational policies are not always aligned, it may be useful to examine the effect of workplace romance policies on employee engagement in workplace romances. Thus, in response to Pierce call for further investigation of their model of workplace romance and to aid practitioners in understanding the antecedents of workplace romances, the current study served three main purposes: to examine whether conscientiousness and prior engagement in workplace romances are related to attitudes about workplace romances; to examine whether conscientiousness, previous engagement in workplace romances, and organizational policies are related to the willingness to engage in a workplace romance; and to test whether personality (i.e. conscientiousness) may interact with organizational policies to predict an employee’s willingness to engage in a workplace romance. By testing and extending the model, the current study makes an incremental contribution to the research literature on workplace romance and provides additional empirical evidence about the antecedents of workplace romances to better inform practitioners who are struggling with how to proactively address the issue of workplace romances.



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