What Will End the Silence? Understanding Employee Voice in Cases of Workplace Sexual Misconduct

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Smith, Chelsie Josephine




Employee voice has been identified as an integral means of addressing workplace sexual misconduct, yet little is known of the steps organizations can take to promote reporting of these incidents. The current study investigated predictors of target and observer reporting among 3,230 gender harassment, 890 sexual advance harassment, and 570 sexual assault incidents within an organization actively seeking to reduce sexual misconduct prevalence. After controlling for known predictors of employee voice in cases of mistreatment, including factors related to the target (sex, race, tenure) and the incident (frequency of sexual misconduct, past sexual misconduct experience, relative perpetrator power), mutable organizational factors contributed to the prediction of target voice across sexual misconduct contexts. However, the directionality of these effects—including counterintuitive findings related to targets' perceptions of organizational intolerance and reporting trends among visible minority and LGBT targets—incite a nuanced discussion of implications pertaining to target and observer voice.


Psychology - Industrial




Carleton University

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