Workplace romances in cold and hot organizational climates: The experience of Israel and Taiwan

Rita Mano, Yiannis Gabriel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Workplace romances and their consequences have been frequently seen as undesirable for organizational performance. The goal of this study was to examine how organizations themselves influence the emergence, development and discourses of workplace romances. Using qualitative fieldwork from three organizations in Israel and four in Taiwan, we examine if and how organizational climate - cold, temperate and hot - influences the ways workplace romances are reported and narrated. We argue that these climates reflect the predominance of different types of work arrangements, notably aestheticization, performance and policy. The findings lead to the conclusion that workplace romances are more likely to become embedded in organizational discourses in hot climates where a hedonistic approach to work enhances the aestheticization of the work environment, providing work arrangements that enhance physical contact mostly outside the premises and a policy that does not punish participants. By contrast, in cold climates, romances are more likely to emerge in opposition and occasionally as a challenge to organizational impersonality and formality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-35
Number of pages29
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2006


  • Cross-cultural analysis
  • Guanxi
  • Israel
  • Organizational climate
  • Sexuality
  • Storytelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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