Friendships with Subordinates at Work
Radio Q&A: Sunday, 17 June 2012, Question 2
I answered a question on friendships with subordinates at work on Philosophy in Action Radio on 17 June 2012. You can listen to or download the podcast segment below – or check out the whole episode.
Is it wrong to be friends with subordinates at work? Work is a place where you have a certain contractual and moral obligation to the company you work for to put the company's interests ahead. With workplace friendships, particularly with subordinates, this can lead to problematic situations, particularly in maintaining a sense of objectivity both to yourself and among your peers and subordinates. There are also problems with the friendship itself; items that you are not supposed to share with subordinates and big events in your friend's life (looking for another job, for example) that either put you in a rough situation or have to be left out of the friendship entirely. Is being friends with someone who is subordinate to you at work practical or moral?
My Answer, In Brief: A manager should be friendly with his directs – equally friendly. To single out some as friends is unprofessional and creates moral conflicts.
- Duration: 15:36
- Download: MP3 Segment (5.4 MB)
To save the file to your computer, right-click and save the link above. You can automatically download that and other podcasts by subscribing to Philosophy in Action's Podcast RSS Feed:
Audible.com is the best source of audiobooks on the planet, hands down.
I've subscribed to Audible since 2005. With my "Platinum Annual Membership," I enjoy 24 books per year for just under $10 per book. I read far more books than I would otherwise, thanks to Audible. I listen to them while in my car, as well as while cooking, cleaning, gardening, and more. I enjoy books more too, particularly classic fiction: a good reader adds a rich layer of color to the text.
If you want to try the delights of listening to books, be sure to take advantage of our special offer of free 30-day trial subscription to Audible. You'll get a great deal, and you'll support Philosophy in Action in the process. It's a win-win! You can also support Philosophy in Action with a direct contribution to the tip jar.
Support Philosophy in Action
Remember, Philosophy in Action Radio is available to anyone, free of charge. That's because our goal is to spread rational principles for real life far and wide, as we do every week to thousands of listeners. We love doing that, but each episode requires our time, effort, and money. So if you enjoy and value our work, please contribute to our tip jar. We suggest $5 per episode or $20 per month, but any amount is appreciated. You can send your contribution via Dwolla, PayPal, or US Mail.
Thank you, if you've contributed to Philosophy in Action! You make our work possible every week, and we're so grateful for that!
If you enjoy Philosophy in Action, please help us spread the word about it! Tell your friends about upcoming broadcasts by forwarding our newsletter. Link to episodes or segments from our topics archive. Share our blog posts, podcasts, and events on Facebook and Twitter. Rate and review the podcast in iTunes (M4A and MP3). We appreciate any and all of that!
About Philosophy in Action Radio
I'm Dr. Diana Hsieh. I'm a philosopher specializing the application of rational principles to the challenges of real life. I received my Ph.D in philosophy from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2009. My first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook. The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel's "problem of moral luck."
My radio show, Philosophy in Action Radio, broadcasts live over the internet on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. On Sunday mornings, I answer four meaty questions applying rational principles to the challenges of real life in a live hour-long show. Greg Perkins of Objectivist Answers co-hosts the show. On Wednesday evenings, I interview an expert guest about a topic of practical importance.
If you join us for the live broadcasts, you can ask follow-up questions and make comments in the text-based chat. Otherwise, you can listen to the podcast by subscribing to our Podcast RSS Feed. You can also peruse the show archives, where episodes and questions are sorted by date and by topic.
I can be reached via e-mail to email@example.com.