Sexual Harassment of Females by Males in the Workplace: Small Business Contrasted with Large Businesses


  • Rebecca Gatlin-Watts University of Central Arkansas
  • Joe Cangelosi University of Central Arkansas
  • Scott Markham University of Central Arkansas


Sexual harassment continues to be an important topic, receiving the attention of small and large businesses. Formal claims regarding unlawful, social-sexual behavior in the workplace doubled during the J 990's.  Some small business owners believe that sexual harassment is not a crucial concern, compared with their counterparts in large businesses. Some small business owners possess the misconception that sexual harassment, regarding federal and state law, apply primarily to large businesses. Sexualization in the workplace occurs when sexual jokes, comments, innuendos, and sexual or seductive dress are tolerated, or encouraged, as well as the more blatant offense of improperly touching another employee. The membership of the Society for  Human Resource Management  was the database for  this study.  A random sample from small businesses of fewer than 500 employees and large businesses with more than 500 employees was selected Important findings indicate that sexual harassment was more of a problem for large firms as there is more male-female interaction and social pressure.  This is true even though more training takes place in larger, rather than smaller, businesses. The findings may also indicate more of a reluctance by females in smaller firms to report such incidences. Respondents believe more formal training, education and behavior modeling, especially in small businesses, are needed to maximize the effectiveness of written policies.


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How to Cite

Sexual Harassment of Females by Males in the Workplace: Small Business Contrasted with Large Businesses. (2001). Journal of Small Business Strategy (archive Only), 12(1), 42-51.