Despite being a distinctive workplace relationship, little research has focused on whether or not certain employees are more prone to forming a work–spouse relationship and the organizational outcomes associated with them. Guided by theorizing on self-monitoring and affective organizational commitment, we analyzed data from 439 employees—167 (38.0%) who currently have, 111 (25.3%) who previously had, and 161 (36.7%) who have never had a work spouse—to examine the influence of self-monitoring on an employee’s propensity to develop a work–spouse relationship and explore the association between having a work spouse and affective organizational commitment. Our findings indicated that the development of a work–spouse relationship was independent of employees’ (a) sexuality, (b) romantic relationship status, and (c) nationality. With regard to self-monitoring, while our initial findings indicated that higher self-monitors were more likely to report having never formed a work–spouse relationship, this relationship was no longer significant when controlling for gender. Last, individuals currently in a work–spouse relationship reported greater affective organizational commitment than individuals who were not. Overall, the findings from this study provide a foundation for future research on the work–spouse relationship and have implications for managers as they try to better understand this unique relationship.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)