chapter  10
24 Pages

Sexual Harassment as Destructive Organizational Process


Scholars have long argued that the process of organizing is a gendered process. Organizing is a means of “doing” gender (Mumby, 1998); however, organizing is also a means of resisting, rewriting, and reworking gender in society. Sexual harassment provides one illustration of the gendering of the workplace. Notably, men can be victims of sexual harassment (Waldo, Berdahl, & Fitzgerald, 1998), but most victims are women. Regardless of the gender of the victim, all sexual harassment sexualizes and feminizes (Berdahl, Magley, & Waldo, 1996). Although the actual act of sexual harassment is a gendered process, it is through public discourse about the meaning of sexual harassment that gender is most insidiously constructed (and reconstructed) as a destructive organizational communication process (Dougherty, 1999). That is, not only the harasser and target but all members of the organization constitute its meaning.