The impact of organizational culture on perceptions and experiences of sexual harassment

M.C. Timmerman, C.W. Bajema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


In sexual harassment research, the importance of organizational variables has become increasingly clear. Utilizing the results of a survey conducted at a telecommunications company in 1997 (N = 458), this study elaborates on the impact of organizational culture on the incidence of unwanted sexual behavior in the workplace. Drawing on organizational and gender theory, we proposed that three organizational variables would be related to the levels of reported experiences of unwanted sexual behavior. First, the social climate in the organization is important: respondents who are positive about the social climate in their workplace have reported experiencing fewer unwanted sexual behaviors than respondents who perceive their organizations as less socially oriented. Second, a relationship was found between gender-specific aspects of the organizational climate and the extent of unwanted sexual behavior: respondents who think that their department has a positive attitude toward the equal treatment of women and men at work have themselves reported less frequently experiencing unwanted sexual behavior. Furthermore, it appears that the respondents who judge the attitude of management toward the combination of work and family to be positive have reported experiencing fewer incidences of unwanted sexual behavior within the department. (C) 2000 Academic Press.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-205
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct-2000



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