The Effects of Organizational Practices on Sexual Harassment and Individual Outcomes in the Military

Jill Hunter Williams, Louise F. Fitzgerald, Fritz Drasgow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research demonstrates that an organizational climate tolerant of sexual harassment directly contributes to the occurrence of harassment and negative psychological, health-related, and job-related outcomes for employees. This article operationalizes organizational intolerance of sexual harassment in terms of specific organizational activities and examines the effectiveness of each such activity in minimizing these adverse effects. The article has 3 goals: (a) to propose a framework for understanding the range of organizational activities with regard to sexual harassment; (b) to discuss the effects of specific organizational activities on the incidence of sexual harassment in the military as well as their impact on individual service members; and (c) to address the theoretical, organizational, and legal implications of these findings. Specifically, it examines service members' perceptions of military efforts related to harassment in 3 areas: (a) the implementation practices related to policies and procedures, (b) provision of resources for targets, and (c) provision of training. Results demonstrate that these practices differentially affect the incidence of harassment and service members' job-related outcomes, with perceived organizational implementation practices having the greatest effect and the provision of either training or resources having the least. The findings demonstrate that fewer implementation practices are related to reduced service member commitment to the military and reduced satisfaction with supervisors and work in general, suggesting reduced unit cohesion and readiness as well as reduced general military effectiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-328
Number of pages26
JournalMilitary Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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