Sexual Harassment Research Paper

Pages: 11 (3076 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 13  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Doctorate  ·  Topic: Careers

Sexual Harassment in the workplace gives rise to organizational inefficiency whilst facilitating an unprofessional workplace environment. The stance of organizations on the issue of Sexual Harassment is a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY. Sexual Harassment causes structural organizational issues throughout the firm when addressed inappropriately.

Approximately 1/3 of women in the healthcare executive role whom elected to participate in a new study have claimed to be the victims of sexual harassment at the workplace. (Burda 1996) Such is an unexpected and alarming finding of the study. The study's lead sponsor is the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), did pass an emergency resolution penalizing sexual harassment and provided recommendations to prevent additional issues. (Burda, 1996)

"Sexual Harassment -- developing a consistent operational definition of it is problematic because the term refers to a heterogeneous group of behaviours. Mild forms of sexual harassment include behaviours such as remarks of a sexual nature, repeating requests for dates, whistles, staring, and sexual propositions that are not directly linked to job enhancement or job threat" (Charney & Russell, 1994).

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"Although researchers often agree on the extreme cases of sexual harassment and define them as such, researchers do not always clearly identify the milder, more ambiguous forms of sexual harassment as sexual harassment. There are also gender differences in perceptions of sexual harassment, with women perceiving a broader range of behaviours as harassing (DeJudicibus & McCabe, 2001; Rotundo, Nguyen, & Sackett, 2001) than do men. Yet there is some debate about the extent of these gender differences" (Blumenthal, 1998; Gutek & O'Connor, 1995; Hurt, Wiener, Russell, & Mannen, 1999).

TOPIC: Research Paper on Sexual Harassment Assignment

Security is the critical element to preventing acts of sexual harassment by engaging the workforce as the enforcer of complaints in a judicious and expeditious manner. Sexual harassment is often of a serious nature and warrants attention as a legal matter for adjudication in the circuit court. When a sexual harassment case goes into litigation, there are no winners and only losers.

Organizations must enact a structured, detailed, and comprehensive sexual harassment policy within the framework of a code of ethics. Contents will include a demonstration of how to act, a conceptual vision of the type of employee that comprises the ethics imbued by an employee or executive, and how early communication with security can prevent the escalation of issues to the boiling point. The code of ethics is to be electronically signed by every employee, by reporting directly to human resources at their earliest convenience.

Often times, victims of sexual harassment are fraught with shame and/or guilt for actions that are not incumbent or indicative of their responsibility in the accountability of the violation. In certain vocations, the likelihood for harassment is greater than in others, and the stigma and likelihood for guilt, shame, or a 'old boy's network' to suppress complaints or to casually dismiss objections can exist in the culture.

"Shame is a strong negative experience that leads to lowered self-esteem, shrinkage of the body and a potent motivation to hide or escape from any further need to cope with the undesirable characteristic of the self that caused the outcome" (Tangney and Bearing, 2002). "This reaction is expected to be even stronger if the person believes that others are aware of one's deficiency" (Smith et al., 2002; Tangney and Bearing, 2002). "In contrast, guilt focuses on one's responsibility for an undesirable action and the act that s/he could have prevented what had happened" (Weiner, 1986). "Consequently, guilt is more likely than shame to lead to thoughts and actions that are centered on the potential for restoring the situation" (Hartz et al., 1995).

"In the world of law enforcement, sexual harassment is an increasing problem as well as discrimination in its many forms. There has been widespread harassment and discrimination against female employees within the LAPD. For example, the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles Police Department officials agreed to pay $165,000 to Suzanne Campbell, a former female officer raped by a male colleague on Police Academy grounds in 1990 in a case that represents persistent sexual harassment and gender equity shortcomings in the LAPD. This is the 5th case that dealt with sexual discrimination and harassment within the LAPD. " (Williams, Kleiner, 2001)

Examples of Power Relationships & Sexual Harassment

The specific engagements between physician and nurses or between clinical and non-clinical staff may involve a power relationship. Such relationships involve work-related interaction between two organizational members of differing responsibilities. Interaction between a physician and a nurse is a power-based relationship where the nurse is subordinate professionally to the physician. Though the professional world is 'silent' about this truth, the evidence is in the number of personal relationships that develop between physicians and nurses.

The guidelines for such interaction remain under the auspice of the framework for the Code of Ethics. However with power relationships, there must be a subset of protocols that identify the range of appropriate behaviour of interaction between these organizational members. Physicians, male or female, are often unaware of the effect the power relationship has on their ability to manipulate the other member in a non-professional manner. This same issue often arises between sports athletes and the interns of the organizations the athletes are employed for.

Physicians whether aware or not aware, possess a rather profound magnetism within the professional workplace that can disrupt the professional flow of work and responsibility. Certainly, such activity can cause a decrease in health outcomes, which is going to be found by Performance Specialists down the line. Greater Healthcare wishes to avoid issues that need process redesign unnecessarily by avoiding the power relationship issue altogether through awareness.

Awareness is the key ingredient to avoiding unprofessionalism between members engaged in power relationships. Such relationships can go beyond physician and nurse. Relationships can involve administrative management and clinicians or non-managerial staff. There are numerous combinations of power relationships that can exist within the organizational scope.

Senior executives have an enormous level of power within the organization. Such power can corrupt men into bad decision-making that is against the better judgment of the senior executive and against the organizational interest. Senior executives are required to understand their power is granted due to the inherent level of responsibility the senior executive has with the organization. The power is a function of the responsibility and is to be used to enhance the organization's standing in the community and to facilitate a positive financial operating environment.

Strategies to deal with Sexual Abuse

The Code of Ethics for senior executives is to act as a leader in a leadership role. To not ingratiate and pursue with personal romantic or financial objectives while on the premises and certainly not conduct in a manner subject to organizational ethics and policy violations. Each senior employee must as themselves the following: "Will this decision cost me or the company?" 99% of sexual harassment cases will be avoided by senior executives should they ask themselves this question before acting.

Often times, senior executives will engage an employee at the same level in what commences as a professional relationship. Over time, 'something just happens' and a romantic relationship ensues. The relationship is now a function of the job environment and can possibly create a conflict of interest between the senior executive and Greater Healthcare Medical Center. Should the relationship terminate, jaded parties can create havoc for each other professionally and slander/libel the career of the individual untruthfully.

The aforementioned ethical violations that have occurred are also legal violations and subject to court proceedings. The objective is to avoid such circumstances and monitor the behaviour accordingly.

Personnel interacts with a large number of organizational members on a daily basis. There is plenty of opportunities for sexual misconduct and harassment received from individuals at the workplace whom are unbeknownst to the victim. Such is the result with personnel that travels from location to location and is subject to a large number of interactions per day. The Greater Healthcare Medical Center has a ZERO TOLERANCE policy on harassment issues subject to personnel members, either from personnel to personnel or personnel to other organizational groups, including physicians, clinicians, etc.

Managers & Supervisors have line management control over their direct reports. Often times, there is a large number of sexual harassment reports from employees regarding treatment from their manager or immediate supervisor. These cases are of the most concern, especially given the proximate contact a supervisor may have over a report, including personal one-on-one contact and communication at the workplace.

The Code of Ethics conduct for such interaction is always professional. Matters arising from complaints in this realm will be subject to intensive investigation and scrutiny of contact regarding the nature and location of the harassment. Interaction between the parties may be monitored by a third party in-house team member from security or human resources.

Prevent Sexual Harassment

The Code of Ethics is a two-pronged tenet that requires organizations to protect the employee within the work environment, and the clinician/staff/employee to adhere to a comprehensive policy of a higher moral code. The… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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