Love Without Sex: The Impact of Psychological Intimacy Between Men and Women at Work

Lobel, Sharon A.; Quinn, Robert E.; St. Clair, Lynda; Warfield, Andrea
June 1994
Organizational Dynamics;Summer94, Vol. 23 Issue 1, p4
Academic Journal
This article focuses on a study on the effects of emotionally intimate relationships between men and women in the workplace. There are several factors that contribute to increased opportunities for the development of psychologically intimate relationships between men and women. These include the assumption of positions involving frequent interactions with men and the efforts of organizations to promote management strategies like team building and networking. The study began by sending letters to 900 randomly selected members of a national professional training and development association, asking if they had experienced non-sexual love relationships. The 50 responses received were examined for common themes and sentences were selected to be included as questionnaire items for further research. A survey which included the questionnaire were sent to 1,709 people, all of whom resided in the U.S. and had participated in an executive education program at the business school of a large midwestern university. The survey asked them to describe their closest relationship with a person of the opposite sex at work. Some 968 respondents indicated their relationship was not sexually intimate. The 50 responses to the initial questionnaire suggested that psychologically intimate work relationships are characterized by affection and concern for one another, shared attitudes and affirmations of one another's worth and accomplishments.


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