Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science

First Advisor

Kirk Vaughan, PhD


This thesis explores how the new Department of Defense fraternization policy compares with fraternization policies in use in the private sector. To examine this issue, a detailed discussion of the military and non-military position on fraternization is provided, specifically the non-military position towards workplace romances or dating between co-workers. This thesis then looks at the findings of several studies, surveys, and inquiries to determine how fraternization is currently regulated in the private sector. The results of this study show a majority of commercial organizations do not have written policies prohibiting employee relationships, whether they are peer-peer or supervisor-subordinate relationships. Results of the findings show that the private sector discourages supervisor-subordinate relationships only and tends to ban such relationships if the two persons are in the same chain of command. On the other hand, the new Department of Defense policy bans supervisor-subordinate relationships no matter if the supervisor is an officer or enlisted and regardless of chain of command. Such findings indicate that the Department of Defense and the private sector do not have similar policies in place to regulate fraternization.

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The author’s Vita page is omitted.