Observers’ Reporting of Sexual Harassment: The Influence of Harassment Type, Organizational Culture, and Political Orientation

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine factors that influence observers’ reporting of sexual harassment. Participants (N = 183) voluntarily took part in a 2 (harassment type: hostile environment, quid pro quo) × 2 (organizational culture: compliant, proactive) experiment. Results indicate that participants were more likely to respond assertively when observing quid pro quo harassment. Participant political orientation moderated the effects of both harassment type and culture. Persons with a more liberal political persuasion intended to respond assertively in situations where help might not otherwise be rendered (i.e., in compliant organizations and in hostile environment harassment). Contributions and implications are discussed.

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Correspondence to Claudia Benavides Espinoza.

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Benavides Espinoza, C., Cunningham, G.B. Observers’ Reporting of Sexual Harassment: The Influence of Harassment Type, Organizational Culture, and Political Orientation. Public Organiz Rev 10, 323–337 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11115-009-0109-4

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Keywords

  • Sexual harassment
  • Bystanders
  • Organizational culture
  • Political orientation