A study of the key factors affecting judgements of sexual harassment in organizational settings

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A study of the key factors affecting judgements of sexual harassment in organizational settings

 

Author: Ng, Tsui Fung-ying Pauline
Title: A study of the key factors affecting judgements of sexual harassment in organizational settings
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 1998
Subject: Sexual harassment
Sexual harassment -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: viii, 122 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1446574
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/1666
Abstract: This research is embedded in the theory that the more severe the behaviour, the more likely it is perceived as sexual harassment. Moreover, job status is related to power differential between two persons and could influence perceptions of sexual harassment. Using six versions of a vignette depicting an interaction between a male and a female in work setting, the following hypotheses are tested:- Severity of Harassment H1: Potential sexual harassing behaviour will be perceived more severely when it involves touching, combined with comments about one's body, than when touching is combined with a work-related comment. H2: Potential sexual harassing behaviour will be perceived more severely when it involves touching with either comments about one's body or comments about work performance, than when it involves mere verbal comments. Status of the Harasser H3: Potential sexual harassing behaviour if perpetrated by a supervisor is more likely to be perceived as sexual harassment than when it is perpetrated by a co-worker. Experienced Harassment of Perceiver H4: The relationship between judgements of sexual harassment and both the severity of action and status of the harasser will be moderated by individual experience of sexual harassment. Attitude of Perceiver H5: The relationship between judgements of sexual harassment and both the severity of action and status of the harasser will be moderated by personal attitude of perceiver. Multivariate analysis of variance is used to investigate the effects of the type of behaviour, specifically: mere verbal comments, touching with comments on body, touching with comments on work; and status, specifically: supervisor and co-worker on the dependent variable, judgements of sexual harassment. The latter is operationally defined as Controlling Behaviour, Negative Reactions and Legal Judgement. Results of the multivariate analysis established significant effects for the type of behavioural interaction between the male and the female. The major findings are:- (1) Touching with comments on body, when contrasted with touching with comments on work, resulted in the male's behaviour to be perceived as more negative and more likely to be perceived as sexually harassing legally. (2) Contrary to my prediction, mere verbal comments, when compared to both touching with comments on body and touching with comments on work, were perceived to be more controlling. (3) There were no significant effects on the judgements of sexual harassment when the status of the male as a co-worker was substituted by that of a supervisor. (4) Experienced harassment of the respondents had no significant correlation with either judgement of sexual harassment or the status of the harasser. (5) Respondents' personal attitude was negatively related to controlling behaviour, negative reactions and legal judgement.

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