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Friendships at Work

So you want to be friends with your co-worker but your boss doesn’t think that’s a good idea. With some help from Aristotle and Dumbledore, we figure out whether it’s okay to have friends at work in this episode of Getting Ethics to Work.

Friendships at Work

Overview & Shownotes

So you’re friends with a co-worker and your boss isn’t too happy about it.  Who is wrong and who is right? Is it okay to maintain friendships at work? Getting Ethics to Work’s resident ethicist Andy Cullison and producer Kate Berry discuss the pitfalls and pleasures of making friends at work. On this episode and every episode, we dig into complicated stories from the workplace and discuss the underlying moral problems these cases bring up.

Download this episode’s transcript.


Aristotle’s Categories of Friendship:

  • Level 1) Grounded in utility: mutual usefulness.
  • Level 2) Grounded in pleasure or delight: mutual fun.
  • Level 3) Grounded in virtue: mutual improvement.

On Neville Longbottom and friendship in Harry Potter: “There are all kinds of courage,” said Dumbledore, smiling. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”

Related articles:

The Argument Against Having Close Friends at Work” by Kathryn Vasel

Can Bosses and Employees Be Friends Outside of Work?” by Kathy Caprino

Why having friends at work is so crucial for your success” by Zameena Mejia

Why Work Friendships Go Awry and How to Prevent It” by Art Markam

How to Have Friends at Work When You’re the Boss” by Peter Bregman

More about ethics and the Prindle Institute


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