Sample Research Proposal On Sexual Harassment And Abuse Of Power In Work Place
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For over three decades, scholarly researchers have developed abundant literature and conducted research related to workplace sexual harassment. An overwhelming amount of work on workplace sexual harassment relies mostly on cross-sectional data. This prevents researchers from understanding if job conditions and personal characteristics are the causes of sexual harassment or if they are simple correlated. This article makes use of descriptive and quantitative analysis to understand the impact of workplace power and gender on sexual harassment. There is evidence from previous research to suggest with increased power the severity and frequency of sexual harassment increases. There is also evidence showing women supervisors are more likely to face and report sexually harassing behaviours a workplace. Intensive and in – depth analysis of literature review suggests that sexual harassment is more about domination, power, and control but less about sexual desire.
Chapter 1 6
1.1 Research background 6
1.2 Research objective 7
1.3 Problem statement 7
1.4 Research Questions 8
1.5 Hypothesis 9
1.6 Literature review 9
1.7 Research setting 10
1.8 Key definitions 11
1.9 Assumptions 11
1.10 Significance of study 11
1.11 Research methodology 12
Chapter 2 13
Literature review 13
2.1 Overview 13
2.1 Defining sexual harassment 14
2.2 Prevalence of sexual harassment 15
2.2 Gender, power and sexual harassment 16
2.4 Organizational policies and sexual harassment 17
2.5 Preventing sexual harassment through organizational culture 18
2.6 Evaluation 19
2.7 Synthesis 20
2.8 Summary 21
CHAPTER III 23
3.1 Primary Research Survey Methodology 23
3.1.1 General Research Design (e.g.: Qualitative) 23
3.1.2 Synopsis of Pilot Study 23
3.1.3 Survey Participants 23
3.1.4 Survey Instrument – Questionnaire/Interview Questions 23
188.8.131.52 Written Questionnaire 24
184.108.40.206 Face-to-Face Interview 24
220.127.116.11 Telephone Interview 24
18.104.22.168 Internet Questionnaire 24
22.214.171.124 Personal Observation 24
3.1.5 Survey Procedure & Administration Protocol (e.g., Confidentiality) 24
CHAPTER IV 25
4.1 Integration of Survey Data Collected and Secondary Research Findings 25
4.2 Analysis of Survey Data Collected and Secondary Research Findings 25
4.3 Summary of Results 25
4.3.1 Problem Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported 25
4.3.2 Sub-Problem 1 Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported 25
4.3.3 Sub-Problem 2 Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported 25
CHAPTER V 26
5.1 Interpretation and Implications of Results 26
5.2 Limitations of Results 26
5.3 Generalization of Results (Warranted and Defended) 26
5.4 Recommendations for Future Research Identified 26
5.5 Summary of Conclusions 26
5.5.1 Achievements of this Research Study 26
5.5.2 Significance of this Research Study 26
Primary research survey instrument 30
Primary research survey data analysis 30
1.1 Research background
Annoying and undesirable behavior of a sexual nature is an age-old issue. Failing to offer a particular, unmistakable name for a long time, this kind of behavior or its culprits have been called by a wide range of names. The term ' sexual harassment' as a descriptor for this behavior was just instituted in the 1970s. From that point forward the issue has turned into a perceived marvel all through the world in all social and word related
As indicated by the International Labor Organization (ILO), lewd behavior is an acceptable type of sex separation focused around sex, an indication of unequal force relations in the middle of men and ladies. The issue relates less to the genuine natural contrasts in the middle of men and ladies – rather, it identifies with the sex or social parts ascribed to men and ladies in social and financial life, and recognitions about male and female sexuality in the public arena that can prompt lopsided male-female force connections.
Sexual Harassment has more to do with force than sex. It happens when somebody with in organization has more power and he ill-uses that power, rupturing the trusting relationship that ordinarily exists in the middle of workers and supervisor. Sexual Harassment makes disarray in light of the fact that the limit between expert parts and individual connections gets to be smudged. The contrast between intentional sexual connections and inappropriate behavior is that harassment contains components of compulsion, dangers, and/or undesirable consideration in a non-complementary relationship.
1.2 Research objective
The aim of this study is to explore what is known about sexual harassment by identifying, many things in organization like the workplace culture in which it occurs, the characteristics of those who suffer harassment and the harasser, and organizational policies designed to prevent and deal with harassment. It also aims to identify gaps in knowledge
1.3 Problem statement
There is no such occupation and profession existed which is free from sexual harassment (Kim and Kleiner, 1999). Sexual harassment keeps on being a pervasive issue in working environments. The recurrence demonstrates the reality of the issue furthermore the earnest need to dispense with it. Studies have demonstrated that ladies are more inclined to sexual harassment (Mathis et al., 1981). In spite of the way that there has been liberation of ladies, where the recent have gotten to be self-expressive, educated and mindful of laws, there is still sexual misuse of ladies. In any case we can't choose not to see additionally to the way that albeit less successive, men can likewise be casualties of inappropriate behaviour. A few studies have uncovered that ladies are additionally sexually pestering men. Moreover, these days we likewise find the same sex bugging one another, men bothering men and ladies irritating ladies individually.
The greater part of cases on inappropriate behavior which have been accounted for and got before the Courts distinctive nations still demonstrate that lewd behavior happens when an individual who is in an influential position utilizes his specific position to annoy other people who are in a powerless position. As it were, this would infer that somebody who is at the highest point of the stepping stool utilizes his energy to ceaselessly inconvenience someone else who is at the base of the various leveled step of the association. Different universal associations, exchange unions, ladies' affiliations and other weight gatherings have uncovered that inappropriate behavior is turning into a disturbing circumstance, particularly in the field of business (Crucet et al, 2010).
1.4 Research Questions
Does the harasser have higher organizational power than the victim?
Can the organizational culture prevent sexual harassment?
What is ratio of sexually harassed victims of both genders?
H1: There is a significant relationship power in organization and sexual harassment
H2: There is a significant impact of organizational policies on sexual harassment
H3: There are more number of female victims than male victims.
1.6 Literature review
Sexual harassment can take a wide range of structures. These include: making sexually express comments and exchange; scoffing, impolite comments and individual abuse; indicating sexually unequivocal foul pictures and pictures from the web; showing timetables and pictures of naked ladies; and rape. It is for the most part acknowledged that inappropriate behavior incorporates two sorts of conduct. The main is normally characterized as "compensation" and identifies with where an individual, frequently in a position of force, will expressly or verifiably make sexual appeals and/or progresses. In return they may offer some wanted result, for instance an advancement.
The second is lewd behavior which can be characterized as "antagonistic environment", which alludes to sex-related practices which make the individual being annoyed feel uncomfortable, along these lines making a scaring work space. This kind of lewd behavior is a wellspring of much level headed discussion as it might be more unobtrusive and is regularly termed a 'hazy area' (Smolensky and Kleiner, 2003).
According to Till (1980), there is a national example of US female school understudies, prompted the plan of five levels of lewd behavior: (a) sex provocation, (b) enticing conduct, (c) sexual gift, (d) sexual pressure, and (e) sexual burden. Sexual orientation provocation portrays sexist or hostile comments and jokes. The enticing conduct classification portrays unseemly being a tease furthermore extends to lewd gestures without the danger of approvals. Sexual gift, sexual compulsion and sexual inconvenience classes regularly include the danger of assents, going from prizes for sexual movement (sexual pay off) to rape (sexual burden).
Collinson and Collinson (1989) express that "men's sexuality and authoritative force are inseparably connected". Lewd behavior frequently reflects an ill-use of power (Brewis, 2001; Sedley and Benn, 1982) and is: not about the anxiety of sex but it is about power, it backs and propagates a framework in which one class of persons is methodically disempowered (Bratton, 1991). Wilson and Thompson (2001) contend that it is principally about men practicing control over ladies, and that provocation is connected with ladies' distraught status at work and subordinate position in the public eye.
Hearn and Parkin (2005) have composed broadly on these issues while perceiving that there are sure different gimmicks of inappropriate behavior and harassing, they see both of these practices as a manifestation of 'authoritative infringement' or infringement of the person, where the society of an association permits singular workers to be dealt with abusively or with insolence. They accept that it is crucial to analyze sexual orientation and sexuality when talking about authoritative qualities, and that "associations and sexuality all the while develop one another" (Hearn and Parkin, 1995)
1.7 Research setting
This study will be conducted and completed during 2015 calendar year within an eight week time period. The time limit and limited resources may have effect on the results provided.
1.8 Key definitions
According to the European Parliament 'harassment related to sex' can be define as follows:
“Where an undesirable behavior identified with the sex of an individual happens with the reason or impact of disregarding the pride of an individual, and of making a scary, antagonistic, debasing, embarrassing or hostile environment. Where any manifestation of undesirable verbal, non-verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature happens with the reason or impact of damaging the nobility of an individual, specifically when making a scary, threatening, corrupting, embarrassing or hostile environment.”
Sexual harassment is a pivotal subject which leaves the victimized person injured for quite a while. The principle suspicions for this study are that respondents will help truthfully in the exploration. The centre of this study is not to call attention to exploited people, however to highlight the elements that prompt such despicable show of force and desire.
1.10 Significance of study
Sexual Harassment is, most importantly, an indication of power relations – ladies are considerably more prone to be casualties of inappropriate behavior accurately on the grounds that they more regularly than men need force, are in more helpless and unreliable positions, need fearlessness, or have been standardized to endure in quiet. With a specific end goal to comprehend why ladies persevere through the dominant part of inappropriate behavior, it is critical to take a gander at a portion of the basic reasons for this marvel.
1.11 Research methodology
The study will be conducted by carrying out a survey in various workplaces in the USA.
Research methodology: qualitative
Research instrument: open ended questionnaire
Population: employees and employers in organizations
Sample size: 300 respondents
Sampling technique: convenience sampling
Project Work plan and Final Milestones
‘Sexual harassment’ was a term coined in the early 1970s. Since that time the formal organizational responses towards the issue have diffused rapidly. At present, sexual harassment policies, grievance procedures and workshops have become standardized in the human resources landscape. There has been robust scholarly research on the link between gender inequality at work, power and sexual harassment at workplace (Martin, 2003; Lopez, Hodson, & Roscigno 2009). From a review of literature it is clear, power pervades as a major cause of sexual harassment. Yet, though there has been scholarly work on this area for the past three decades, the basic questions associated with how sexual harassment is an outcome of power remains unanswered (Berdahl, 2009).
Evidence in this regards is based on narrowly focused samples, a wide range of time frames, and inconsistent measures. Much of the evidence relies on inconsistent measures, wide-ranging time frames, and narrowly focused samples. Only rarely has cross-sectional data been used for the identification of correlated and identifying the root cause if workplace sexual harassment. In the absence of rigorous longitudinal and qualitative designs to address the dynamics between power, gender, and sexual harassment, this research strives to address this research gap. The main purpose of this study is to explore and identify the causes of sexual harassment at workplace, why it happens, the characteristics of the harasser and the sufferer. It also aims to identify organizational policies that could help deal with and prevent sexual harassment.
The major aims of this research are to analyses the sexual harassment in the organizational environment, to analyses the relationship between power and sexual harassment, to examine the impact of organizational policies on the prevention of sexual harassment, and to examine the fact that there are more female victims than male victims. Through research the study will answer the following questions;
Does the harasser have higher organizational power than the victim?
Can the organizational culture prevent sexual harassment?
What is ratio of sexually harassed victims of both genders?
2.1 Defining sexual harassment
According the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions (EEOC) sexual harassment is classified under sex discrimination according to the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The EEOC (2010) defines sexual harassment as, “unwelcome sexual advances, verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature or requests for sexual favoursdone either explicitly or implicitly”.
When such a conduct occurs at workplace, it affects an individual’s employment, creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment, and unreasonably interferes with the work performance of an individual (EEOC, 2010). The EEOC recognizes hostile sexual harassment at work and quid pro quo. Quid pro quo literally means ‘something for something’. This is a condition wherein employment or the basis for employment decisions like benefits, job assignments, and promotions are given when sexual favours occur.
Most complaints in this regard are classified as harassment resulting in a hostile work environment. As a result of harassment, when an intimidating, offensive, and hostile work environment is created, it is viewed as unreasonable interference with a worker’s job and condemned.
2.2 Prevalence of sexual harassment
According to a recent study, that focused on investigating the prevalence of sexual harassment, and sexual abuse at workplace amongst an economically and racially diverse population revealed that nearly 25% of the population reported to have experienced sexual harassment, while 52% revealed they had experienced a mild form of sexual harassment. Women were found to perceive more discrimination, harassment, and negative social and health outcomes when compared to men as a result of sexual harassment more than men (Krieger, Waterman, & Hartman, 2006). This in specific was true for women occupying high ranking jobs, having a high degree of specialization, and for women with colour.
It is difficult to determine the prevalence of sexual harassment as a vast majority of such cases are unreported (Lopez, 2009). According to the EEOC in the US alone only 16.3% of the complaints reported to the EEOC were filed by men. It is notable there is a marked decrease in the complaints made from 15,889 in 1997 to 11,364 during 2011 (EEOC, 2014).
2.2 Gender, power and sexual harassment
Identities are a fluid assembly of behaviours and meanings that are constructed from the images, values, and prescriptions that are prevalent in the world (Kimmel, 2008, pp.100). Gender is not something produced biologically, but it is rather social. Such a social discrimination results in gender and sexual differences. Gender is something acquired biologically, but the way in which a person is addressed depends on the social construct (Francis & Skelton, 2005). The intersection of gender and power on a sociological framework is theorized by Connell (1987). He notes that masculinity is a means of guaranteeing dominance and authority of men and subordination of women. For instance, supposedly un-harmful activities like mobilizing and girl watching that are considered light behaviour by men, are mentally harmful for men.
Martin (2006) found that such a gendering practice in collective context reveals homogenic masculinity, and how it shapes sexual harassment in a workplace. Research by DeSouza and Solberg (2004) revealed that men are subject to harassment if they were perceived to be feminine, while women were subject to sexual harassment if they challenge their subordinate position.
Sexual harassment is reconceptualised by Berdahl (2007) to be a behaviour that demeans, derogates, or humiliates a person based on the person’s sex. She views sex based harassment is driven by the underlying motivation to protect a person’s sex based social standing, rather than being driven by a person’s sexual desire. Owing to this in most cases the target is a woman who threatens a man’s status. In specific Berdahl argues that women who possessed a stereotypically masculine personality like being dominant, independent and assertive was most likely to experience harassment at work. The various dimensions of power as explained by Lukes (2005) namely, exertion of power to influence a decision making process, over conflicts in key issues to make a person do what he or she does not want, and using power to influence decision making best explain sexual harassment as a result of power conflicts. Research on stratification and organization shows women are underrepresented in terms of power relegated to them, and position of authority they occupy.
Though strategies are in place to invoke organizational diversity, allowing women to crack the glass ceiling, stereotypical beliefs about their limitations and natural competencies shape their achievement at workplace (Gorman, 2005). Kalev (2009) portrays how women who are viewed to be too assertive, and are considered a threat to the gender hierarchy face more harassment.
2.4 Organizational policies and sexual harassment
Organizational policies refer to work content that exhibit co-worker and supervisor support at a firm. It also enlists formalized procedures for promotion and workplace ethics so sexual harassment could be reduced for both sexes. Research by Timmerman & Bajeman (2000) showed that when there is a positive social climate in a firm, people were less likely to indulge in sexual harassment at workplace. In line with this, Griffin & Lopez (2005) focused on unprofessional work environments in the American workplace. They analysed co-worker behaviour, work environment, and presence of workplace bullying. One in five women were found to have experienced sexual harassment in the form of rudeness, condescending comments or rudeness, especially when workplace ethics promoted a negative work environment.
Despite being highly victimized, the decision to report sexual harassment is difficult and complex in many cases owing to lack of proper policies and procedures to report it (Cruez, 2009). As victims do not report their experience appropriately with sexual harassment, offenders are not punished or apprehended, and such behaviour will likely continue. It is notable Cruez (2009) researched on the impact proactive methods like offering training and having official complaints procedure to report against sexual harassment on reducing such an offence. These measures were less effective if firms failed to address the lack of confidence victims had in believing their report will be taken seriously, and the harasser will be punished.
Fears about employment concerns with the firm and fear of retaliation caused many women to overlook sexual harassment. In summary, it is clear policies to reduce sexual harassment are incomplete if the reporting procedure is not proper, and if the policy does not take into consideration the organizational factors
2.5 Preventing sexual harassment through organizational culture
Organizational culture is associated with the assumptions that are developed by organizational members. It influences the way in which employees behave and perceive organizational problems. A firm’s culture is based on the shared managerial values amongst employees. It sheds light on what is considered important by the firm, how valuable contribution from its employees are important to the form, whether the firm is performance oriented or employee oriented, and the acceptability of sex or gender based discrimination at workplace (Miner-Rubino & Cortina, 2004). Organizational culture interacts with the nature of harassment and it impacts and influences preferred punishments.
Research by Gilovich et al., (2005) shows how a firm’s culture impacts member’s expectation related to appropriate work behaviour. For instance, if sexual harassment is considered as a betrayal of trust, and punishments for the same are harsher, it will help reduce discomforting incidences. Proactive organizations enact policies that value every member’s accomplishment and their self-respect. In such cases, sexual harassment is viewed more harshly. When the organizational culture encompasses the severity that could result from harassment, and portrays a strong punishment for the harasser, employee compliance with firm’s policies increases. Through shared values and beliefs and proactively applying its policies organizations can promote a safe work culture.
Though there is no direct support to prove that women in high status position, and job position experience more harassment, there has been abundant research in this area. There is general support for harassment being used as an instrumental behaviour to stop powerful women and intimidate them, when they set to embark on a traditionally male territory. Researchers like Berdahl (2007) view male harassers target women to reinforce their male dominance, by relegating women to a low status. The focus of previous research has been on four main aspects namely, the reasons behind sexual harassment, the outcome of harassment, fundamental policies against sexual harassment and is impact, and discourse of power. Such a view by Francis & Skelton (2005) do not take into consideration the natural sexual desires that result in sexual harassment. There has been abundant focus on the influence of gender discrimination and power, but little research exists on the biological aspect of sexual harassment and how to address it.
In relation to policies there is strong evidence to support the fact that a positive work culture and enactment of effective policies and procedures will serve to reduce sexual harassment. Such constructs are contingent upon social described roles. They fail to account for the detailed forms of harassment and do not account for what is considered to be sexual harassment. Cruez (2009) rightly notes avoid exploitation of workforce, and danger of sexuality is tremendous owing to the presence of rigid bureaucratic system. It is the result of a competition between the genders for domination at work and in the society. Previous research has neglected the key to resolving sexual harassment that is it must be considered a part of an organizations’ response to domination of one gender rather than being viewed as an individual problem.
A review of literature in this study showed evidence on the role gender and power plays in creating sexual harassment at workplace. There is evidence related to the gendered effect at workplace, workplace authority and the impact it has on sexual harassment. The implications for both genders, in specific the female gender was analysed through feminist theories. In particular, it is notable various researchers have supported the fact that women supervisors more than men are likely to be harassed sexually at workplace. A review of literature showed researchers suggest that gender combined with power might result in producing a counter-institutive result. Through longitudinal study the pattern of how gender combines with workplace power resulting in harassment was clearly revealed.
Sexual harassment is observed to function like a tool wherein through gender inappropriate behaviour male counterparts might harass or equalize women supervisors. Consistently research has shown that during present times’ sexual harassment is more about domination and control, rather than about sexual desire. Reviewing literature that dealt with organizational policies and organizational culture and its impact on lowering sexual harassment revealed that the development of policies to counteract sexual harassment is the first step towards the elimination of sexual harassment at workplace. It is evident that development of such policies alone is not enough to deter sexual harassment behaviour and to prevent it.
In addition there is the need for organizational change, so the organizational culture becomes a proactive one. Such a change in required at multiple levels as organizational structures like regulations, rules, and reward systems will have to be modified; contingency patterns that drive employee behavioural patterns will have to be changed and organizational policies will need to be developed dynamically. The effective implementation of policies against sexual harassment depends on the interaction between the firm’s culture, organizational practices, and the consequences. Research indicates firms have started adopting policies to curb sexual harassment. Such policies are found to be beneficial only when they comprehensively address the issue. The consequences for a potential breach in the policy must also be clearly stated. Complaint procedures have to be made a confidential and supportive affair. Over the past three decades the legal and organizational response and practice against sexual harassment has evolved rapidly. However, the cultural image of victim and harasser has not quite changed with male shown in dominance and female shown in a powerless position. It is notable, the present scenario at workplace is rather largely varied. It is the paradox of power owing to the gender system in place that mostly results in the urge to induce female subordination. With increasing career growth women stand at a greater risk of being sexually harassed.
3.1 Primary Research Survey Methodology
For primary data collection from women working in various firms in the USA, a survey questionnaire comprised of open ended questions was used.
3.1.1 General Research Design - Qualitative
3.1.2 Synopsis of Pilot Study
For primary data collection the instrument used was a survey questionnaire comprising of open ended and close ended questions. Participants were women working in various firms in USA. The questionnaire was shared with potential participants via a survey link created using survey monkey. Data was gathered using the link itself, so confidentiality was ensured for participants. Sampling technique used is convenience sampling, and a sample size of 300 participants is used.
3.1.3 Survey Participants
Participants in the survey were only women, working in any sector, in a firm located in the USA. Participants were all over the age of 18 years.
3.1.4 Survey Instrument – Questionnaire/Interview Questions
A copy of the survey instrument that was used is located in Appendix A. The questionnaire had both close ended and open ended questions.
126.96.36.199 Internet Questionnaire
Potential participants were identified using social media pages like Facebook, blogs, and online forums which assisted people facing sexual harassment at workplace in the USA like openforum.org, and feminist.org.
3.1.5 Survey Procedure & Administration Protocol
The survey data was analysed using Excel software. Data was quantized where possible and statistical analysis was performed. Open ended questions were analysed using thematic coding procedure (Creswell et al., 2009). According to the context, data was categorized for effective presentation of results. Upon subjecting the data to systematic analysis and investigation, through the concepts of gender and power sexual harassment at workplace was analysed to relate the findings back to the research questions.
4.1 Integration of Survey Data Collected and Secondary Research Findings
4.2 Analysis of Survey Data Collected and Secondary Research Findings
Descriptive statistics of the data gathered is presented based on participants’ experiences with sexual harassment and workplace abuse. Participants are categorized according to their age, educational qualifications, present area of work, and marital status. The data is summarized and displayed in terms of standard deviation and mean in Table 1.
4.3 Summary of Results
4.3.1 Problem Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported
4.3.2 Sub-Problem 1 Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported
4.3.3 Sub-Problem 2 Hypothesis Supported/Not Supported
5.1 Interpretation and Implications of Results
5.2 Limitations of Results
5.3 Generalization of Results (Warranted and Defended)
Another measure brought up by many informants was the importance of spreading information about the issue through awareness-raising activities with female workers. Moreover, informants at non-governmental organizations also brought up the importance of changing current gender norms, where women are taught to serve men and men are taught to constantly express their sexual needs. To spread information and work holistic is also brought up by Leach (2004:4-5), and through these measures, a positive discussion on gender and norms may be introduced. However, Brokes & Higson-Smith (2004:112-116) claim that these programs will not help unless the significance of the problem is recognized within policies at the schools. While those responsible at the organizations claim that there are policies on where to report, this does not seem to be known by those working there.
5.4 Recommendations for Future Research Identified
Policies on where to report, this does not seem to be known by those working there. Furthermore, it was among teachers and authorities at the schools that the problem was minimized, maybe in order not to give the school a bad reputation. However, it must be recognized that a good school is one where students are listened to and where measures are taken against teachers who commit crimes. Recognizing the significance of the problem may also lead to a positive result regarding reporting (Brokes & Higson-Smith 2004:112-116). Moreover, power-with is recognised by a collective acting together (Allen 1998:35), and thereby it is of importance that all groups are included in the measures taken against sexual harassments and abuse at organizations.
5.5 Summary of Conclusions
5.5.1 Achievements of this Research Study
5.5.2 Significance of this Research Study
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Primary research survey instrument
Primary research survey data analysis
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