Thursday, May 2, 2013

Not Safe For Work Literature Review

This past semester I was expected to write a literature review for my human resources graduate course. I chose the topic sexual harassment and its effects within the work environment from the use of the Internet. Eleven peer-reviewed articles were chosen for discussing strengths and weaknesses in sexual harassment policy development for managing employees in this new digital era of mobile and desktop devices. Below is the introduction for the literature review with the entire article located on my research website. Please feel to provide commentary and feedback.

Not Safe For Work: A Survey in Workplace Policy on Sexual Harassment and the Internet A Review of the Literature


Employers have the unenviable task of managing employees’ online activities locally in the office and remotely. Because of the Internet and the invention of the World Wide Web, the day-to-day working environment has changed significantly. From these technologies, the potential for acts of sexual harassment may occur and possibly disrupt nonprofit and public organizations’ safe and productive work environments causing lost hours of productivity and revenues.

Sexual harassment became an issue for organizations in 1986 when the Supreme Court included its awareness in Title VII. According to Bower (2005), sexual harassment involves two scenarios, quid pro quo and a hostile environment. Linking these scenarios to the workplace, researchers have attempted to study organizations’ use of the Internet and World Wide Web which have both significantly affected workplaces by converting them from traditional environments into today’s digital workplaces. However, because of the constant change in technology, developing and implementing best practices and policies dealing with sexual harassment can be a challenge.

From the literature, researchers discuss strategies for managing sexual harassment specifically relating to the themes of monitoring of employees, filtering content and employer liability. This paper discusses best practices and policies presented by the researchers for examining differences and common theories focusing on a central question, “How can an organization eliminate the potential for sexual harassment?” Recent literature articles were selected to attempt to better understand how suggested policy development and organizational practices should address sexual harassment within nonprofit and public organizations.