Changing Sexual Harassment within Organizations via Training Interventions: Suggestions and Empirical Data
Organizations’ interest in conducting sexual harassment awareness training is multifaceted. Although organizational research has increased awareness of the negative impact of sexual harassment on individuals and organizations (for example, Coles, 1986; Dansky & Kilpatrick, 1997; Schneider, Swan & Fitzgerald, 1997), high-profile incidents, such as the Tailhook scandal and the Mitsubishi $34 million class action settlement, have certainly heightened organizational sensitivity to the issue. Perhaps most motivating is the possibility of reduced legal liability by implementing training as alluded to in the Supreme Court’s jointly-decided 1998 sexual harassment cases of Burlington Industries, Inc. v. Ellerth and Faragher v. City of Boca Raton and more blatantly stated in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC updated 1999 Guidelines regarding supervisory harassment (Bell, Cycyota & Quick, 2002; Bell, Quick & Cycyota, 2002; BisomRapp, 2001; Grossman, 2003). If not voluntarily undertaken, numerous organizations also conduct sexual harassment training as a result of legal settlements or, as is the case in Connecticut, Maine and California, mandates from state legislatures (Martucci & Lu, 2005).