This is according to research from the Rotterdam School of Management, which claimed that friendship between colleagues was a double-edged sword – work friendships allegedly discourage employees from challenging what it termed as “group think”.Co-author Tom Mom demonstrated that employees become less likely to innovate away from the established and accepted “norm”. With his colleagues he examined 150 respondents within large R&D departments, gauging whether personal friendships affected individual creativity in information obtained from their colleagues. Mom explained: “Of course, having a network of friends at work is a positive circumstance, both personally and professionally. Not only does this enable innovation and creativity through increased knowledge exchange, but being able to trust one another and speak candidly opens doors to growth. Business development has always been huge priority for firms and the focus has recently shifted to maximising individual employees’ outputs. “By taking measures such as cross-sectional working, mixed training exercises or even the rotation of teams, managers can ensure that they reap the positive benefits of work relationships without slipping into the trap of over-familiarity and goal-alignment.”
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