The Organization as a Romantic Partnerâ„¢: An Initial Exploration of the Parallels of Employee-Organization Relationships to Romantic Interpersonal Relationships

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Johnson, Cecil W, III
employee; organization; organizational behavior
thesis / dissertation description
Employee-organization relationships have been extensively studied in the organizational behavior and development literature, and their characteristics have been described by various metaphors. In spite of this, there appears to be the potential to explore an additional metaphor to describe a specific expression of that relationship: The Organization as a Romantic Partner.This paper conducts an exploratory examination of the organizational dynamics that create the conditions for employees to develop and demonstrate cognitive and emotional behavior toward their employing organization that parallel similar behaviors in romantic interpersonal relationships.The framework of this examination is a literature review in the form of an academic explication of a corporate TEDx talk given to employees of a global, Fortune 500 corporation. During this explication, the relevance and validity of the metaphor to employee work life is tested.This paper contributes to ongoing research regarding employee-organization relationships by providing an additional lens for study and research of the positive and negative consequences of these relationships while presenting potential solutions.