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I  think there are many things that will have an impact on one’s own job  satisfaction in the workplace, things such as level of responsibility,  promotion potential, predictability, and of course the bonds we have  with those we work around. I believe that the bonds we establish in the  workplace can lead to many different forms of friendships. The workplace  for many individuals is complex and confusing, each person is hired to  fill a specific purpose, and in doing so they develop bonds with  individuals in order to accomplish those requirements. Through those  interactions friendships can grow when information is shared, sometimes  that information is personal and sometimes its only job related. This  then feeds into a better established work environment. As Vernon (2010)  wrote “friends at work provide a sense of belonging: they make you feel  that you are informed about what’s going on, that your opinions are  being heard across the organization.” (pp.17-18) This is not to say that  the friendships formed are genuine nor do I feel that have to be, the  end result of work is to accomplish the tasks given, friendships are a  bonus. My own views on this topic are in a way twisted, after serving in  the military for many years and across many different organizations it  has become more difficult to develop friendships within the workplace  that I feel are more than what Vernon may classify as ‘pseudo-intimacy’  in which I may know a lot about a Soldier or a supervisor many know  about me but we honestly care very little about each other at the end of  the day or the end of tour. (Vernon, 2010, p.15) I could also agree  with Aristotle’s  second  category  of  friendships as it relates to  many organizations I have been a part of in which each  individual is  used to achieve some result and as that result is achieved the  friendship is in itself ends unless another need arises. (Cooley, 2002,  p.197) Furthermore, the impacts that they can have on job satisfaction  are significant as I feel you feed off the energy and friendships of  those around you. If do not get along or enjoy working with someone or a  group of individuals than you are more likely to under perform in the  responsibilities you are assigned. This is a critical point to  understand when you look at the military life, as you are depending on  other in situations that can have grave impacts if not executed  correctly.

As I considered some of my own friendships in a workplace environment  and whether I have been able to experience true care and support from  my colleagues I would have to say yes and no. I wholeheartedly believe  that there have been people throughout my career who have truly cared  for me and helped guide and mentor me. However, at a certain point that  care and guidance stopped. Now one could argue it was due to the  constant moves, or difference in career paths throughout the years, but I  feel that it’s just the military way. Another could also say that maybe  they did it as a way to ensure that they themselves benefited from my  development. Based on Adam Ferguson’s view on commercial society, Vernon  suggests this could also be defined as a way of promoting  interdependence, with the risk of substituting the virtues of taking  care of others and placing a priority of taking care of oneself.


Cooley, D. R. (2002). False Friends. Journal of Business Ethics, 36(3), 195–206. 

Vernon, Mark. The Meaning of Friendship (p. 15, 17-18, 39). Palgrave Macmillan UK. Kindle Edition.  

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