More and more sexual harassment scandals involving celebrities have been breaking recently, and those cases launched a wide social discussion on what sexual harassment is and what constitutes it. Although different people may disagree on the borders between appropriate and inappropriate sexual behaviors, the question persists: how can organizations prevent and/or address sexual harassment in the workplace? In this context, it is primarily necessary to investigate practices of addressing the issue of sexual harassment. First of all, Mainiero and Jones (2013) suggest that one should not confuse sexual harassment with workplace romance; a distinguishing feature of the latter is consent. If two people experience mutual attraction and engage in a sexual relationship, the situation may raise ethical issues; therefore, organizations should recognize that sexual harassment in the workplace can cause serious negative effects on the performance of the employees (McLaughlin, Uggen, & Blackstone, 2012; Nielsen & Einarsen, 2012).
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Moreover, if the employees of an organization develop a perception that the organization does not protect them from sexual harassment in the workplace, they are less likely to make maximum efforts aimed at achieving organizational goals. However, before addressing the issue of sexual harassment, it is necessary to properly research it, both in the general sense (i.e., what researchers say constitutes sexual harassment and how organizations can address the issue) and specifically in the context of our organization (i.e., exploring what the employees’ sexual harassment experiences are). Therefore, I hereby request permission to proceed with conducting research that will allow designing appropriate avoidance strategies for the organization, thereby allowing it to avoid sexual harassment claims in the future. In connection with this, I would like you to authorize the use of the company’s time to enhance the organization’s positive image among its current and potential audiences by researching the issue of sexual harassment.
Mainiero, L. A., & Jones, K. J. (2013). Sexual harassment versus workplace romance: Social media spillover and textual harassment in the workplace. The Academy of Management Perspectives, 27(3), 187-203.
McLaughlin, H., Uggen, C., & Blackstone, A. (2012). Sexual harassment, workplace authority, and the paradox of power. American Sociological Review, 77(4), 625-647.
Nielsen, M. B., & Einarsen, S. (2012). Prospective relationships between workplace sexual harassment and psychological distress. Occupational Medicine, 62(3), 226-228.
Thomas, E. (n.d.). Since we’re in the online world [Video file].