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Workplace Harassment

CASE FLYER, HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
ET Cases, 4 pages
AUTHOR(S) : Deepti Nair and Dr. Nagendra V. Chowdary

Case Preview

Workplace Harassment

 

Expected Learning Outcomes

• The concept of workplace harassment and the role of B-schools in sensitizing potential managers towards harassment at workplace
• The role of HR in sensitizing employees towards workplace harassment
• The implications of workplace harassment on the employees and the organization

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Workplace Harassment: The Concept

1. Does the term workplace include only the designated office spaces or does it hold true for any setting/location where colleagues gather?

2. What according to you is offensive/derogatory/unacceptable workplace behavior both, professionally and personally? What are the initial indicators of unacceptable workplace behavior?

3. What is the role of B-schools in sensitizing potential managers regarding acceptable workplace behavior? Which of the following concepts should be used to sensitize the potential managers to the workplace behavior?

4. ....................

Workplace Harassment: Repercussions for Employees and Companies

1. Do you think some industries insist on having female colleagues to add glamour quotient to the workforce? What impact does it have on gender equality and gender diversity?

2. The author in the accompanying article is of the view that, “respect a ‘No’ from a colleague or an employee. Woman employees often report discomfort when a simple “No” from them is not acknowledged”. Do you agree with the author’s view that every ‘No’ from a female colleague/employee, except for invitations for dance, party, drinks, etc., should be acceptable at all times?

3. Do you think women can get away easily with unacceptable workplace behavior when compared to their male counterparts? What happens when women are the perpetrators in cases of workplace harassment, in general, and sexual harassment, in particular?

4. ..............

Teaching Note Preview

Workplace Harassment

 

Synopsis

This case flyer focuses on the issue of workplace harassment and what constitutes acceptable workplace behavior. The article highlights the various unacceptable workplace behaviors and argues that male bosses should be vary in their choice of words, body language and even eye contact while interacting with their female colleagues, subordinates, etc. What may qualify as a casual remark for one employee may be interpreted as an objectionable statement by the other. What role should the HR play in cultivating sensitivity towards harassment at workplace? Is workplace harassment-country and culture sensitive? In many instances, it has been noticed that women have been the perpetrators of harassment. Do women get away easily in such scenarios as compared to their male counterparts?

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • • The concept of workplace harassment and the role of B-schools in sensitizing potential managers towards harassment at workplace
  • • The role of HR in sensitizing employees towards workplace harassment
  • • The implications of workplace harassment on the employees and the organization

 

Positioning and Setting

This case flyer can be used in the following course:

  • a) Human Resource Management – What determines ethical behaviour at work?
  • b) Organizational Behavior – Sexual Harassment – what qualifies as workplace harassment in general and sexual harassment in particular for both the male and female employees

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Suggested Orchestration

Before the Case Flyer Discussion in the Classroom

a) The students were asked to watch the movie North Country before we could discuss this case flyer.

b) As most of our students were fresh graduates with no prior work experience, it was absolutely essential for them to be sensitized towards the concept of workplace harassment and the trauma that the victims underwent under such circumstances. This movie provided ample scope to understand the various forms of harassment at workplace.

c) Watching the protagonist being subjected to constant workplace harassment would help students to comprehend the gravity of this concept. This insight would help them to be more responsive and interactive during the case flyer discussion, thereby paving way for a gripping and interesting session.

d) Most importantly, prior to the actual classroom discussion, the students should be encouraged to analyze all the questions given in the case flyer (either individually or in learning teams or appropriate discussion forums) to enable them to participate effectively and enrich the learning outcomes.

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Exhibits

Exhibit (TN)-I: Scenarios of Workplace Harassment

Exhibit (TN)-II: Behavior-Intervention Pyramid

Exhibit (TN)-III: Power-Harassment Association

Annexure

Annexure (TN)-I: BOARD PLAN

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Product code: HRM-4-0013, HRM-4-0013A

Abstract


This case flyer and the accompanying article1 enables a discussion on the long prevalent issue of workplace harassment, in general, and sexual harassment in particular. It provides a platform to debate on what qualifies as acceptable and unacceptable workplace behavior. What is the relation between individual learning and attitude and workplace harassment? What role should B-Schools play in sensitizing young potential managers towards workplace harassment? This case flyer discusses the role of HR in acclimatizing employees towards the concept of harassment at workplaces. Further, it provides a scope for deliberating on the influence of culture and countries on how individuals view workplace harassment. Finally, it enables a gripping debate on what should companies do when women themselves are the perpetrators of workplace harassment?



Pedagogical Objectives

  • To understand the concept of workplace harassment and the role of B-schools in sensitizing potential managers towards harassment at workplace
  • To understand the role of HR in sensitizing employees towards workplace harassment
  • To debate on the implications of workplace harassment on the employees and the organization


1 'In Workplaces: What's Appropriate, What's Not' The Economic Times, November 30th 2013



This Case Pack Includes:
- Abstract
- Case Flyer
- Analysis
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