Sexual Harassment: A Pilot study in the hotel industry

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Title: Sexual Harassment: A Pilot study in the hotel industry
Author: Chung, Wen-Yi Tera
Abstract: Several studies have documented the existence of sexual harassment in workplaces in society-at-large. This pilot study seeks to determine whether sexual harassment is higher within the hotel industry than in workplaces in society-at-large, whether men and women react differently to sexual behaviors in the workplace, and whether those differences vary by department. In addition, the study seeks to determine hotel employees knowledge of the existence of policies and procedures on sexual harassment within one hotel property, to identify the initiators of sexually harassing behaviors, to suggest implications for management, and to provide a data base for future research. Sixty-nine employees of one hotel property were telephone interviewed by using a 30 question survey designed for hotels that was based on the 1985 Gutek questionnaire. The responses were numerically coded and compiled by the Ci2 program. The data was transferred to Lotus 123, and then into Minitab for statistical analysis. The results were compared with the findings of the 1985 Gutek study of society-at-large. The results of this study indicated sexual harassment is a widespread and deeply felt problem in the surveyed property. The findings confirm (1) that a higher proportion of hotel industry employees than of individuals in society-at-large experience sexually harassing behaviors in their workplace, and (2) that there exists a gender difference in reactions to sexual behaviors from the opposite sex in the workplace. This study found male respondents in food preparation appear to have a higher tolerance for sexual behaviors in the workplace than do their counterparts in other departments. Among women respondents, there is very little variation by department in their reaction to sexual behaviors in the workplace. This study also found 100% of male and female respondents have knowledge of the existence of policies and procedures on sexual harassment in the hotel property. Further, co workers are the initiators of most sexually harassing behaviors. The study recommends the commitment of upper management must be scrupulously adhered to and exemplified by every manager and made known publicly to all employees bom in writing and in practice. It is management's responsibility to observe, to listen, to reassure the employee, and to act. This study also recommends the traditional approach of training only managers is no longer sufficient. The results of this study point to the need for direct training of non-supervisory employees regarding sexual harassment. Furthermore, more research in this sensitive topic needs to be done. A problem of access to and cooperation from the hospitality industry need to be addressed before more research can be conducted.
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/11448
Date: 1993

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