Resource for journalists writing about workplace romances gone wrong


Image: Lisa MainieroFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Foursquare.

These commonly acceptable means of communication between co-workers can quickly turn into tools for inappropriate social media contact and sexual harassment after workplace romances end.

For perspectives on this complicated issue, please consider as a resource Lisa A. Mainiero, Ph.D., professor of management at Fairfield University's Dolan School of Business, who is the author of "Office Romance: Love, Power and Sex in the Workplace," published by Macmillan. She is a sought-after lecturer and consultant, with appearances on "Good Morning America," CNN, and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

In her article, "Workplace Romance 2.0: Developing a Communication Ethics Model to Address Potential Sexual Harassment from Inappropriate Social Media Contacts Between Coworkers," (written with Dr. K. J. Jones and published in the Journal of Business Ethics), Dr. Mainiero examines the ethical implications from workplace romances that subsequently turn into harassment through text messaging, IMing, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other forms of digital communication between office colleagues. Because workplace law has not yet caught up with such problems, the article proposes a "new communication ethics model," complete with "response positive" and "response negative" contingencies.

Dr. Mainiero received her doctorate in organizational behavior from Yale University. She is the co-author (with Sherry E. Sullivan) of the book, "The Opt-Out Revolt: Why People Are Leaving Companies to Create Kaleidoscope Careers" (Davies-Black Publishers) that describes contemporary trends in the career landscape for women and for men. She has published articles on executive women's careers, issues of power and politics, office romance, and crisis management strategies in numerous journals.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 7, 2013

Vol. 45, No. 176