Research indicates that friendships at work increase productivity and  overall job satisfaction. Additionally, employees are more likely to  believe they are well-paid. Those who share friendships at work are more  likely to share ideas, be innovative and feel like their work has real  meaning and purpose (p. 17). Yet, Vernon posits that in the workplace,  we often experience a pseudo-intimacy, whereby “colleagues can know so  much about each other but can care so little” (Vernon, p. 15).

In  this week’s reading material, the following philosophers discuss their  views on this topic: Aristotle, Russell, Smith Ferguson, Marx  and Simmel. Make sure to incorporate their views as you answer each  discussion question. Think about how their views may be similar or  different from your own. In at least 350 words total, please answer each  of the following, drawing upon your reading materials and your personal  insight:

  • To what extent does having friendships in the workplace impact your own level of job satisfaction?
  • Please describe some of your own friendships in a workplace  environment and whether you have been able to experience true care and  support from your colleagues. What about genuine friendship? 


Many companies are aware of the research that indicates that  friendships at work increase productivity and overall job satisfaction  (p. 17). People with friends at work are even twice as likely to believe  they are well-paid (p. 17). Those who share friendships at work are  more likely to share ideas, be innovative, and feel like their work has  real meaning and purpose (p. 17).

In reality, commercial society encourages friendliness but not strong  alliances, which can undermine the authority of industry. In short,  strong friendships can prove time consuming and produce less productive  workers, as well as contribute to nepotism and cronyism (p. 39). Other  thinkers and critics have noted the drive toward individualism and  competition that commercialism promotes, which undermines genuine  connection.

Consider the concepts from the Module 4 readings as you participate  in the module’s discussions and complete the poll. Be sure to cite the  textbook or other sources in your work.


Cooley, D. R. (2002). “False Friends.” Journal of Business Ethics. (195-207).  Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Vernon, M. (2010). The Meaning of Friendship. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. Chapter 1: Friends at Work

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