This study seeks to examine differences in the perceptions of sexual harassment between business school students in the USA and Thailand.
Senior‐level business students from both the USA (228 students) and Thailand (260 students) were surveyed regarding their perceptions of what constituted sexual harassment behaviour. After reading different workplace scenarios, the participants used a Likert‐type scale to rank different behaviours as to what they felt constituted sexual harassment. The survey scores were factor‐analyzed in order to determine the constructs underlying the variety of sexual harassment behaviours.
Students in the USA viewed sexual harassment as involving a quid quo pro situation in which one's behaviour affects the terms of employment (sexual coercion), and a hostile environment in which certain behaviours and remarks create a hostile or offensive work environment. In comparison, the Thai students also viewed behaviours that create a hostile or offensive environment as constituting harassment, but also considered sexually explicit language and jokes to be very offensive, and as constituting a form of sexual coercion.
This study used only one data collection method, specifically, a survey instrument. Also, this study examined differences between US subjects and subjects from only one Far Eastern country. Thus, the results may not be generalizable to other East Asian countries.
As US businesses begin to expand into the Far East, it is imperative that we understand the nature of sexual harassment perceptions in these Far East countries.
This paper provides evidence that the perception of what constitutes sexual harassment varies across cultures.
Limpaphayom, W., Williams, R.J. and Fadil, P.A. (2006), "Perceived differences in sexual harassment between business school students in the US and Thailand", Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 32-42. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527600610643466
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