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Workplace bullying and victimisation on productivity impact

It refers to an organisational environment in which procedures and policies to encourage effectiveness, civility and mutual respect are not set in place and in which coherent work procedures are substituted by bullying [9]. When the nature and content of work is very physically demanding and consists mainly of a minority workforce [9] this can increase the risk of sexual harassment.

In addition, the organisational climate or environmental factorssuch as organisational commitment [11]have been shown also to facilitate such behaviours. Theories of sexual harassment Researchers have advanced three major theories: Male dominance focuses on men keeping their power in their organisations by using sexual harassment; while gender-role spill over proposes that as men are used to dealing with women in a subordinate role, in both domestic and social situations, that they then transfer such interactions to the workplace.

The third theory of sex ratio centres on the distribution of men to women workplace bullying and victimisation on productivity impact workplace. Wherein workplaces with a higher ratio of women to men are more likely to exhibit harassment, when compared to those with fewer women where it is easier for men to maintain power [10].

This may reflect a response to a perceived 'threat'.

  1. Cost and consequences There can be both a direct and indirect impact on organisations and workers due to sexual harassment. One method involves organisational change that is driven by the employees, the 'bottom-up' approach , to promote a culture of mutual respect, inclusive of the cyclical elements of [31].
  2. What are examples of bullying? A test of an integrated model', Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol.
  3. Implement training and awareness-raising strategies to ensure all employees know their rights and responsibilities. In Spain, for example, 18.
  4. Gender impact Overall, the reported incidences of sexual harassment are not high.

This perceived threat may arise as men may wish to retain their power and privilege within the organisation [12]. These theories are useful, but are not definitive and should be considered together with workplace bullying and victimisation on productivity impact factors that are present within organisations. This prevalence is fairly consistent across the different countries, with figures ranging from 0.

However, true prevalence rates may be higher, with victims unwilling to report such experiences due to feeling ashamed, or by downplaying the situation.

Various other studies in Slovakia 66. Gender impact Overall, the reported incidences of sexual harassment are not high. As seen in Figure 1, women aged less than 30 years of age report the highest exposure to sexual harassment.

Within each age group, women consistently report higher exposure than their male counterparts [5]. Sexual harassment experiences within the EU There is a general acceptance that female employees are the ones most likely to experience sexual harassment. Little is known about same-sex sexual harassment [14]but the available data show that when men are sexual harassed it is mostly done by other men. Whereas this is significantly lower when women sexually harassed other women.

More research is needed to look into this pattern, as it is not necessary based on homosexuality [14] ; but could be a form of male dominance achieved by 'feminising' other men [10].

Diversity within gender is another area that would benefit from more research to gain a better understanding of sexual assault victimisation among non-Caucasian women and of those with disabilities [15].

For example, studies within the US show that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer from sexual abuse due to their physical and cognitive impairments [15]. Sector impact Across sectors, women are more likely to be sexually harassed when they work in male-dominated jobs such as, a police officer, bus or taxi driverand within traditional 'female' jobs such as a waitress, nurse, and sales wo men [1].

Women in military settings also report a high occurrence of sexual harassment and rape [16] [17]. One of the reasons for this may relate to the sex ratio theory described above [10].

Similar results were observed in a study from Portugal, which found men working in a health centre reported higher levels of sexual harassment than the women [18]. Workers in precarious employment are twice as likely as those in more fixed employment to experience sexual harassment [19] [13].

In general, a higher proportion of women than men work in precarious forms of employment in the EU. This may be another factor to explain why women are more likely to be sexually harassed. In Spain, for example, 18.

Cultural differences may influence how men and women perceive and respond to sexual harassment. For example, sexual harassment in the workplace may be associated with deeply entrenched gender stereotypical attitudes. Whereby, the way of looking at women as objects of sexual desire and accepting that they have a subordinate role in society and in the family, may facilitate or exacerbate the sexual harassment of women at work [22].

This is further strengthened by the patriarchal stereotypes that accept male domination and women's economic and emotional dependence on men, and supports a negative attitude to women as the norm within the work environment [22]. Cost and consequences There can be both a direct and indirect impact on organisations and workers due to sexual harassment.

For example, compensation is one of the key direct costs of sexual harassment. The indirect costs of sexual harassment include: Quinn, Woskie and Rosenberg [23] observed higher rates of job turnover, sickness absence and lower productivity associated with reports of sexual harassment.

Further, the decline in the physical and mental health of the harassed workers [24] may lead to increased absenteeism, lower work satisfactiona poorer working climate and lower motivation [1]as well as higher levels of job and work withdrawal e.

  • However, this may result in women being in an uncomfortable position; as women and men tend to revert to gender-stereotyped ways when challenged, with women emoting and men acting [14];
  • As seen in Figure 1, women aged less than 30 years of age report the highest exposure to sexual harassment;
  • In general, a higher proportion of women than men work in precarious forms of employment in the EU;
  • Higher levels of sexual harassment showed stronger levels of depression and mental ill health for men, than for women [30];
  • For example, studies within the US show that women with disabilities are more likely to suffer from sexual abuse due to their physical and cognitive impairments [15];
  • Theories of sexual harassment Researchers have advanced three major theories:

Victimisation, as experienced through negative workplace behaviours, has led to employee ill health, in the form of poor mental health and cardiovascular health [26]. Another consequence is lower organisational commitment [12]. Most importantly, these negative outcomes are not dependent on sustained and prolonged sexual harassment; as even low-level, but frequent incidences could were found to have a negative impact on a sample of working women [27].

These negative repercussions are not work specific and for those being harassed, they are more likely to experience psychosomatic symptoms, loss of self-esteem, with the impact intruding on their private life [1]. It is important to assess the gender effect as well; men sexually harassed are more likely than women to abuse alcohol [28] [29]. Higher levels of sexual harassment showed stronger levels of depression and mental ill health for men, than for women [30].

Prevention and positive practises Due to the negative consequences outlined above, it is important to manage and prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Health and well-being is a key component for effective working life [7]and this is disrupted when sexual harassment and victimisation occur.

In order to eliminate sexual harassment, it is necessary to know what drives such behaviour. However, as the reasons are not explicit, this requires more empirical investigation to understand why these behaviours occur [14].

Sexual harassment and victimisation: what happens in the workplace

These investigations should include both quantitative and qualitative methods, and should include researchers with expertise in sexual assault and of the women and men to whom this occur [15].

The further understanding of the factors and mechanisms that workplace bullying and victimisation on productivity impact sexual harassment and victimisation in the workplace are essential to inform the development of effective organisational policies and workplace practices. Although there is no specific method or practice that eliminates sexual harassment totally at present, organisations may prefer to implement a more assertive approach to deal with such behaviours.

However, this may result in women being in an uncomfortable position; as women and men tend to revert to gender-stereotyped ways when challenged, with women emoting and men acting [14].

An organisational culture that promotes a positive social climate employee-oriented instead of job-oriented and that is responsive to female workers who wish to balance their work and personal obligations is less likely to have sexual harassment concerns [1].

One method involves organisational change that is driven by the employees, the 'bottom-up' approachto promote a culture of mutual respect, inclusive of the cyclical elements of [31]: While this people-centred approach focuses on an organisational 'informal' system, this will work together with more formal processes such as, anti-harassment policies [31].

Some of the recommendations that have been promoted to ensure a successful policy are [1] [32]: Prevention and positive practices could occur at both a micro individual, employee, organisational and macro governmental level. The governmental approach is highlighted earlier in this article, and shows that governments regulate against such negative practices. Individuals may use either an active or passive style to cope with these behaviours, and the style adopted depends on and is influenced by individual differences [14].

Any method or combination of methods that are chosen should be continuously assessed for their effectiveness, especially for policy and training [12]. Although general policies are useful, organisations should have in place policies, procedures and practices specific and holistic to their respective organisation.

This would mean generating more information on understanding how and why individuals are targeted and how victims cope with workplace harassments; as coping strategies have been shown to buffer the stress associated with such experiences [12] [32].

Future directions for research and assessment of sexual harassment Although data are available on some aspects of sexual harassment, there are areas that would benefit from further and more in-depth research and assessment [1]: Bullying and harassment at work: General and sexual harassment compared', The Sociological Quarterly, Vol.

Common ground, distinctive features, and unanswered questions', In Landrine, H. A test of an integrated model', Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol.

  1. As seen in Figure 1, women aged less than 30 years of age report the highest exposure to sexual harassment. However, this may result in women being in an uncomfortable position; as women and men tend to revert to gender-stereotyped ways when challenged, with women emoting and men acting [14].
  2. Although there is no specific method or practice that eliminates sexual harassment totally at present, organisations may prefer to implement a more assertive approach to deal with such behaviours.
  3. Excluding or isolating employees.
  4. Gender impact Overall, the reported incidences of sexual harassment are not high.

Temporal associations with cardiovascular outcomes and psychological health problems in Australian police', Stress and Health: