Workplace Friendships

Workplace friendships are informal, voluntary relationships established within work settings and across different levels of organizational environments. This entry examines how friendship has been defined by scholars and goes on to discuss how workplace friendships have been conceptualized as beneficial for organizations and individuals. The final section explains why workplace friendships are relevant to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people at work. It addresses workplace friendships as relationships that can enable LGBTQ people who participate within them to cope with discrimination based on sexual orientation, as well as opportunities to develop and affirm LGBT identities within organizations wherein heterosexuality is taken as “natural” and privileged.


Although definitions vary, friendship has been commonly characterized, at least in a Western context, as a voluntary and spontaneous dyadic ...

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