Case Study : Romantic Relationships in the Work Place

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Jonathan Santos

Professor: Steven Bellavia

Introduction to Business and Technology

February 17, 2010

Case Study #2: Business Problem

Romantic Relationship Gone Sour, Affecting Productivity

Many people may think falling in love with a co-worker is an obvious side effect, since we spend most of our time at work. If the couple is in love and all is going well in the relationship, some may probably say that productivity may go up. Since there is no concrete evidence to back this up, it’s tough to say whether this statement holds true. Now, what if the opposite happens and your company is facing decreased productivity, and unsatisfied employees due to the relationship spilling over into the workplace.

To prevent this effect, many companies have policies in restricting romantic relationships among co-workers. (Harwood, Par. 9) Some may think this is a violation of human rights, and sure, I can see where they are coming from. However, if I were the manager of a company whose production was being affected by this relationship I would definitely favor implementing a policy such as this to prevent any future occurrences. The current problematic relationship would have to be dealt with separately, since the policy was not in effect at the time which the relationship started.

Now that we’ve addressed a general type of office relationship, let’s look at a more specific type: cross-level relationships. What’s that you say? A cross-level relationship would be, for example, a manager in a relationship with his/her subordinate. This can provoke any number of problems to either of the two, and in the worst case, the company if legal action becomes required.

First, the type of problem that this may cause to the junior level employee could be that since their “partner” is technically in charge of him/her, this person may be forced to do job related tasks that may be best suited for another employee. The senior level employee...
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