Workplace friendships between men: Gay men's perspectives and experiences

Nick Rumens*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Challenging the heteronormative bias in the current literature on men's workplace friendships, this article uses qualitative interview data to explore how gay men understand and experience workplace friendships involving other gay and heterosexual men. Developing a Foucauldian approach, this study suggests that gay men's experiences and perspectives on workplace friendships can supplant negative stereotypes of men's friendships, by understanding them as relational sites for developing empowering organizational gay sexualities and genders. From a Foucauldian theoretical orientation, we can examine how gay men can(not) avoid falling into the trap of treating gender and sexuality in dichotomous and heterosexist terms, allowing them and their male work friends to explore new possibilities for workplace friendships that are more gender and sexually complex than is currently assumed. This article advocates future research on this matter as it could potentially enrich extant critical scholarship that has often bathed organizational masculinities in a negative light.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1541-1562
    Number of pages22
    JournalHuman Relations
    Issue number10
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • discourse
    • friendship
    • gay men
    • gender
    • organization studies
    • sexuality
    • workplace


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