Sexual Harassment in Academia: Ethical Climates and Bounded Ethicality
Posted: 18 Jan 2019
Date Written: January 2019
This article reviews research on sexual harassment, particularly that pertaining to academia, to understand its underlying causes. Arguing that sexual harassment is an ethical issue, we draw on the field of behavioral ethics to structure our review. We first review ethical climate antecedents at the individual, leader, organizational, and environmental levels and examine their effects on both the occurrence of and responses to sexually harassing behaviors. This discussion is followed by an exploration of research that speaks to the cognitive processes of bounded ethicality—including ethical fading, motivated blindness, and the slippery slope—and their role in facilitating and perpetuating sexual harassment. We conclude by highlighting the value to be gained from integrating research on sexual harassment with research on behavioral ethics and identifying several practical steps that can be taken to curb sexual harassment in academia.
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