Online from: 1971
Subject Area: Human Resource Management
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|Title:||Organisational responses to workplace harassment: An exploratory study|
|Author(s):||Denise Salin, (Swedish School of Economics and Business Administration, Management and Organisation, Helsinki, Finland)|
|Citation:||Denise Salin, (2009) "Organisational responses to workplace harassment: An exploratory study", Personnel Review, Vol. 38 Iss: 1, pp.26 - 44|
|Keywords:||Bullying, Discipline, Finland, Gender, Harassment, Human resource management|
|Article type:||Research paper|
|DOI:||10.1108/00483480910920697 (Permanent URL)|
|Publisher:||Emerald Group Publishing Limited|
|Acknowledgements:||The author would like to thank Jeff Hearn and other members of the Research Group on Gender Relations in Organisations, Management and Society at the Swedish School of Economics for helpful and constructive comments in connection with this study. The study was funded by the Academy of Finland (decision number 212759).|
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to explore what kind of measures personnel managers have taken to intervene in workplace harassment and to explore how organisational characteristics and the characteristics of the personnel manager affect the choice of response strategies.
Design/methodology/approach – The study was exploratory and used a survey design. A web-based questionnaire was sent to the personnel managers of all Finnish municipalities and data on organisational responses and organisational characteristics were collected.
Findings – The study showed that the organisations surveyed relied heavily on reconciliatory measures for responding to workplace harassment and that punitive measures were seldom used. Findings indicated that personnel manager gender, size of municipality, use of “sophisticated” human resource management practices and having provided information and training to increase awareness about harassment all influence the organisational responses chosen.
Research limitations/implications – Only the effects of organisational and personnel manager characteristics on organisational responses were analysed. Future studies need to include perpetrator characteristics and harassment severity.
Practical implications – The study informs both practitioners and policy makers about the measures that have been taken and that can be taken in order to stop harassment. It also questions the effectiveness of written anti-harassment policies for influencing organisational responses to harassment and draws attention to the role of gendered perceptions of harassment for choice of response strategy.
Originality/value – This paper fills a gap in harassment research by reporting on the use of different response strategies and by providing initial insights into factors affecting choice of responses.
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