Search results

1 – 10 of over 3000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 May 2009

Stephanie R. Sipe, C. Douglas Johnson and Donna K. Fisher

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether a gap exists in student perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace as compared to the realities. Over 20 years…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess whether a gap exists in student perceptions of sexual harassment in the workplace as compared to the realities. Over 20 years following the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the US Supreme Court recognized sexual harassment as a cause of action under Title VII. However, despite the developing law and public awareness of the same, sexual harassment persists in today's workplace, and its presence and effects continue to be underestimated by relevant stakeholders, including university students.

Design/methodology/approach

College students (n = 1,373) provide perceptions on sexual harassment of self, sexual harassment of others, potential career impact of sexual harassment on self, and demographic information. Descriptive statistics are used to evaluate research questions, while t‐tests determine if differences exist by race and/or gender.

Findings

The paper's findings suggest that the majority of respondents believe sexual harassment is not a serious risk in the modern workplace, especially in relation to its impact on their own careers.

Practical implications

College students (and potentially members of the workforce) need ongoing training and education in order to minimize discrimination or harassment. This misalignment between perception and reality poses the risk of negative consequences to both business organizations as well as to individual employees and raises the issue of how education may be used to minimize these consequences.

Originality/value

This paper provides college students with a definition of sexual harassment, then inquires as to whether or not they believe it happens (to them or others), and if so, would it affect their careers. The findings suggest the rose colored lenses may adversely impact their ability to see realities of the workplace.

Details

Equal Opportunities International, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0261-0159

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Myriam Vuckovic, Annette Altvater, Linda Helgesson Sekei and Kristina Kloss

The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes, forms, extent, and consequences of sexual harassment and sexual violence at public sector workplaces in Tanzania.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the causes, forms, extent, and consequences of sexual harassment and sexual violence at public sector workplaces in Tanzania.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 1,593 civil servants participated in the survey, which was conducted in the Mtwara Region of Tanzania. The quantitative data were complemented with the results from eight focus group discussions.

Findings

The study revealed that 21 percent of women and 12 percent of men had experienced sexual harassment personally. Overall, rural-based public servants had less knowledge of relevant policies, and experienced more sexual harassment than their urban colleagues. The majority of perpetrators were identified as men in senior positions; the majority of victims were recognized to be young female employees. Frequently reported behaviors included sexual bribery with regard to resource allocation, promotions, allowances, and other benefits.

Practical implications

Despite the existence of conducive legal and policy frameworks aimed at protecting employees from sexual harassment and violence, their implementation and effects were found to be limited. Only half of the study population was aware of the existing regulations. The study found that the majority of public servants who had knowledge on the issue had learned about sexual harassment in the context of an HIV/AIDS workplace program. This finding indicates that well-designed workplace interventions can play an important role in creating awareness, addressing gender stereotypes, and informing employees about their personal rights and responsibilities.

Originality/value

Sexual harassment and gender-based violence at the workplace has never been studied before in Tanzania. The study provides practical recommendations for future preventive interventions.

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

A Meaningful Life at Work
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-767-2

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 4 May 2020

Lisa Mainiero

The #MeToo movement has brought questions of sexuality and power in the workplace to the forefront. The purpose of this paper is to review the research on hierarchial…

Abstract

Purpose

The #MeToo movement has brought questions of sexuality and power in the workplace to the forefront. The purpose of this paper is to review the research on hierarchial consensual workplace romances and sexual harassment examining the underlying mechanisms of power relations. It concludes with a call to action for organizational leaders to adopt fair consensual workplace romance policies alongside strong sexual harassment policies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper represents a conceptual review of the literature on consensual workplace romance, sexual harassment, passive leadership and power relations. Passive leadership leads to a climate of incivility that in turn suppresses disclosures of sexual harassment (Lee, 2016). Consensual workplace romances across hierarchical power relations carry significant risks and may turn into harassment should the romance turn sour.

Findings

Two new concepts, sexual hubris and sexploitation, are defined in this paper. Sexual hubris, defined as an opportunistic mindset that allows the powerful to abuse their power to acquire sexual liaisons, and its opposite, sexploitation, defined as a lower-status member using sexuality to gain advantage and favor from an upper-level power target, are dual opportunistic outcomes of an imbalanced power relation. Sexual hubris may increase the likelihood for sexual harassment such that a mindset occurs on the part of the dominant coalition that results in feelings of entitlement. Sexploitation is a micromanipulation tactic designed to create sexual favoritism that excludes others from the power relation.

Research limitations/implications

Sexual hubris and sexploitation are conceptualized as an opportunistic mechanisms associated with imbalanced power relations to spur future research to tease out complex issues of gender, sexuality and hierarchy in the workplace. Sexual hubris serves to protect the dominant coalition and shapes organizational norms of a climate of oppression and incivility. Conversely, sexploitation is a micromanipulation tactic that allows a lower-status member to receive favoritism from a higher-power target. Four research propositions on sexual hubris and sexploitation are presented for future scholarship.

Practical implications

Most organizational leaders believe consensual romance in the office cannot be legislated owing to privacy concerns. Passive leadership is discussed as a leadership style that looks the other way and does not intervene, leading to workplace hostility and incivility (Lee, 2016). Inadequate leadership creates a climate of passivity that in turn silences victims. Policies concerning consensual workplace romance should stand alongside sexual harassment policies regardless of privacy concerns.

Social implications

The #MeToo movement has allowed victims to disclose sexual misconduct and abuse in the workplace. However, the prevalence of sexual harassment claims most often can be traced to a leadership problem. Employers must recognize that sexual hubris and sexploitation arise from imbalances of power, where sex can be traded for advancement, and that often consensual workplace romances end badly, leading to claims of sexual harassment. Consensual romance policies must stand alongside sexual harassment policies.

Originality/value

Sexual hubris and sexploitation are offered as novel concepts that provide a mechanism for conceptualizing the potential for abuse and manipulation from unbalanced power relations. These are original concepts derived from the arguments within this paper that help make the case for consensual workplace romance policies alongside sexual harassment policies.

Details

Gender in Management: An International Journal , vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-2413

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Sam Middlemiss

Banter has been defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the playful and friendly exchange of playful remarks” [www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/banter]. This suggests that…

Abstract

Purpose

Banter has been defined in the Oxford Dictionary as “the playful and friendly exchange of playful remarks” [www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/banter]. This suggests that it is a form of dialogue or conversation that is welcome, non-threatening and appreciated by the recipient. However, this is often not the case, and the purpose of this paper is to consider the legal rules dealing with banter where it is threatening, unwanted or oppressive to the recipient. Where there is a discriminatory aspect to the banter, the protection provided under equality law will be considered. Banter can be directed at workers with different characteristics (e.g. disability, age, religion, sex, race or sexual orientation), and this paper will consider discriminatory banter whatever the basis. The different types of dialogues falling under the term banter will be analysed and the extent to which legal protection is in place to deal with it will be considered. The statutory legal rules dealing with harassment and bullying in the UK are the most relevant to controlling workplace banter and accordingly will be given primary consideration. Finally, recommendations will be made for improving both management practice and the law in this area.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used is a thorough review of secondary sources in the UK including relevant statutes and legal cases and research undertaken in this area.

Findings

There is a need for legislative change to protect victims of unwanted workplace banter.

Research limitations/implications

Legal and managerial solutions to a complex problem.

Practical implications

Very few sources of primary research.

Originality/value

Highly original.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 59 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 9 March 2021

Frank Joseph Cavico and Bahaudin Ghulam Mujtaba

The advent of the #MeToo movement has brought forth increased national and global attention to sexual assault, abuse, misconduct, discrimination and harassment in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The advent of the #MeToo movement has brought forth increased national and global attention to sexual assault, abuse, misconduct, discrimination and harassment in the workplace, especially by prominent executives against subordinate female employees. Accordingly, in this article, we are thoroughly analyzing one aspect of office romance and sexual conduct in the workplace, mainly sexual favoritism in the era of the #MeToo movement.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a legal and case-based human resource policies paper. It reviews actual workplace romance cases, policies and court-based decisions to create practical recommendations that can be used by managers, entrepreneurs and corporations for their organizations. One delimitation of this paper is the fact that it focuses on the US context. Another is that, while organizational behavior researchers have empirically studied various workplace romance policies and practices, the paper is a case-by-case analysis of sexual favoritism. “Specifically, the legal research for this article was conducted on the law database, Nexis Uni Legal, in the Cases (both federal and state) and Law Reviews and Journals sub-databases, using the direct key words in quotations “workplace romance,” “office romance,” “sexual favoritism,” and/or “paramour preference,” as well as the indirect key words “appearance discrimination, “preferring the pretty,” and/or “lookism.” As the authors' intent was to examine the legal and practical consequences emanating from the #MeToo Movement, the authors concentrated their search on cases and law reviews from 2012 to February 2021.

Findings

Research shows that about 35–42% of women have experienced some form of sexual harassment or sex discrimination at work. Many of the high-profile sexual cases that generated the #MeToo movement involved powerful executives asserting that their romantic relationships with subordinates in the workplace were “merely” consensual office romance or sexual favoritism. As a result of the #MeToo movement, employers have been compelled to reconsider how they should respond to sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, office romance and sexual favoritism in the workplace. This article offers best practices for policymakers and human resources professionals.

Research limitations/implications

This article's recommendations are limited to workplaces in the US and may not be relevant in other countries as the local laws might vary.

Practical implications

There are policy and behavioral implications for companies, managers and employees regarding workplace romance and sexual favoritism. As such, we provide policy recommendations to human resources department and management on how to provide a healthy work environment for all employees and avoid liability for sexual harassment cases pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

Social implications

The awareness of policies and laws regulating office romance can help educate managers and employees in local communities as to their rights regarding relationships with coworkers and those who report to them. When people are able to date whomever they desire outside of the workplace, employers can regulate some aspects of sexual relationships in the workplace.

Originality/value

This is an original paper by the authors.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Junghyun Lee

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether observed hostility mediates the link between passive leadership and sexual harassment. The study also investigates how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine whether observed hostility mediates the link between passive leadership and sexual harassment. The study also investigates how workplace gender ratio might moderate this mediated relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used online survey data by recruiting full-time working employees in various US organisations and industries.

Findings

Results suggest that when working under a passive leader, both men and women are more likely to experience sexual harassment. Furthermore, the positive association between hostility and sexual harassment is stronger for female employees who work in a male-dominated organisation (low gender ratio). However, the moderating effects of workplace gender ratio were not significant for male employees.

Practical implications

Organisations seeking to reduce or prevent sexual harassment should monitor and screen out managers who display passive leadership behaviour and create a work environment where collegial and civil interactions are encouraged and valued.

Originality/value

This research advances our knowledge regarding the organisational factors of sexual harassment by examining passive leadership, hostile work context, and workplace gender ratio. Theoretically, the study contributes to the sexual harassment literature by incorporating evidence on passive leadership from a broader field of workplace aggression into sexual harassment research. Practically, the study offers important implications for organisations that seek to minimise sexual harassment.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 47 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 13 November 2015

Muthukuda Arachchige Dona Shiroma Jeeva Shirajanie Niriella

Sexual harassment against female employees in the workplace is one of the topics that have gained the serious attention of various segments of the Sri Lankan society. More…

Abstract

Sexual harassment against female employees in the workplace is one of the topics that have gained the serious attention of various segments of the Sri Lankan society. More than 50% of the female population in Sri Lanka is employed today. Many of them have experienced sexual harassment at least once in their workplace. Since sexual harassment is recognized as a criminal offence in Sri Lanka, this paper intends to investigate whether the prevailing penal laws of the country are sufficient to prevent and deal with these cases and punish the perpetrators. Furthermore, this paper investigates the other possible legal response in the civil law regime to provide a safer legal environment for the victims of sexual harassment. This paper also discusses the relevant international standards in improving the existing laws in the country. This study engages in the field research including interviewing relevant stakeholders (200 women employees including skilled, unskilled and managerial level from government and private sector institutions situated in the Western Province, Officer In Charge of Police of 6 Police Divisions in Colombo District as the highest industrialized District in the Western Province and 3 Commissioners of Labour Department of Sri Lanka) in addition to the desk review of the literature.

Details

Enabling Gender Equality: Future Generations of the Global World
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-567-3

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Benjamin J. Thomas and Spencer Harris

The status quo for managing deviant workplace behavior is underperforming. The current research offers a new approach for scholars and managers in approaching these…

Abstract

Purpose

The status quo for managing deviant workplace behavior is underperforming. The current research offers a new approach for scholars and managers in approaching these misbehaviors. Namely, we outline how system justification theory, which holds that people are motivated to rationalize and justify the systems—including workplaces—to which they belong even when those systems disadvantage them or others, offers value in explaining and addressing the prevalence of such misbehaviors and contemporary failures in managing them.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual research explores the situated role of onlookers to patterns of workplace misbehavior, like harassment. We explore existing scholarship on why and how onlookers respond to such actions, including cultural elements, and draw parallels between those accounts and the foundational concepts of system justification theory to demonstrate an unrealized theoretical overlap valuable for its immediate applications in research.

Findings

The current paper establishes clear links between system justification theory and efforts to manage misbehavior, establishing system justifications as freezing forces in the culture of a workplace that must be unfrozen to successfully implement strategies for managing misbehavior. Further, we describe how organizational onlookers to misbehavior are subject to system justifications, which limit prescribed means of stopping these patterns of wrongdoing.

Originality/value

Very limited organizational scholarship has utilized system justification theory, despite calls for such applications. Given the existing shortcomings in scholarship and management approaches to workplace misbehavior, the current research breaks from the status quo and offers an established theory as a new way to approach these misbehaviors.

Details

Personnel Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 April 2008

Charles A. Pierce, Ivan S. Muslin, Chantay M. Dudley and Herman Aguinis

We reviewed U.S. federal and state sexual harassment court cases involving a prior workplace romance between the plaintiff and alleged harasser. Results of our content…

Abstract

We reviewed U.S. federal and state sexual harassment court cases involving a prior workplace romance between the plaintiff and alleged harasser. Results of our content analysis show that, unlike employees’ decisions, judges’ decisions can be predicted from legal but not ethically salient extralegal case features. Hence, when compared to prior research, our study reveals the following discrepancy: judges follow a traditional legal model, whereas employees follow an ethical model when making decisions about romance‐harassment cases. Our study also reveals that the mere presence (versus absence) of a prior romance reduces the likelihood of a plaintiff’s success in a harassment case. We discuss implications for management practice and research from the perspective of legal and ethical decision making.

Details

Management Research: Journal of the Iberoamerican Academy of Management, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1536-5433

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 3000