Among Friends: The Role of Friendship in Alternative Organizations

Monika Kostera,

Marta Szeluga-Romańska


Friendship, a mutual and profound relationship, permeates history of human culture and occurs in all social situations, including professional and informal human activities. In organizations, it develops through processes of communication and generates a communication culture of kindness and support. Organizational friendship enhances work engagement and satisfaction, as well as helps to promote individual ends. This article investigates the more vital significance of friendship in alternative organizations. Such organizations, operating at the margins of the currently dominant profit-oriented business model, offer a plethora of insights of possible structures and practices. Our ethnographic qualitative research shows the implications of workplace friendship as organizing principle. It helps to make organizations more humane, and redressed the moral imbalance, so prevalent in contemporary organizing and management. This has important implications for any kind of communication, creating social awareness around important themes related to management and organizations. Patterns of friendship are meaningful for organizing and organizations and their most vital significance concerns the area of social communication.

Słowa kluczowe: communication, alternative organizing, social networks, economic sociology