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OFFICE HARASSMENT AND ITS EFFECT ON AN EMPLOYEE

This paper addresses the generalized workplace harassment and gender harassment collectively termed as office harassment for this study, and the effect of office harassment on the quality of work life of an employee where quality of work life was measured through the an employee’s job satisfaction. Studies of different scholars revealed Psycho-social effects of harassment affected significantly the elements forming quality of work life. To gather the data a questionnaire was developed and administered to the employees of banking sector. Results suggested that job stress and organizational commitment mediated the relation between Gender Harassment & Generalized Workplace Harassment called collectively as Office harassment and Quality of Work Life and also there existed an inverse relationship between independent and dependent variable In the future among many other avenues, researchers could conduct the study across sectors as well as those sectors where women work under traditional roles settings.

Keywords: Office harassment, generalized workplace harassment, gender harassment, Quality of work life

INTRODUCTION

Workplace harassment is one of the most regular happenings in any workplace across globe and the practice of harassment exists in every organization regardless of nature, size of that organization. The term harassment term may be defined as any unwelcomed/unwanted action/advance toward any employee that would hamper his/her work performance, furthermore harassment can be termed as an oral or physical action which emits hostility for an individual due to his/her demography or ethnicity or that of people who are related to him/her and the intention is to create hostility and interfering with an individual’s work performance and it can also affect negatively a person’s opportunities for the employment.

Harassment comes in many shapes; it can be in form of sexual harassment, gender harassment, generalized workplace harassment, racial harassment and ethnic harassment to name a few. Sexual harassment is a type that constitutes undesired sex based behavior existent as condition for employment or it may give birth to an environment that is hostile for the harassed (Fitzgerald, 1996); as far as the gender harassment is concerned it is a non-sexual experience based on gender and it can include remarks such as females being incompetent etc. (Buchanan & Fitzgerald, 2008); the term generalized workplace harassment means negative office interaction that affects the individual’s job by affecting the terms and conditions and/or job decisions and such actions don’t fall within the boundaries of law; ethnic harassment means a behavior that is hostile as well as one that separates an individual from the rest and the sole stimuli for this action or behavior is that person’s ethnicity (Schneider, Hitlan, & Radhakrishnan, 2000) and racial harassment is the kind where discriminatory and hostile behavior is due to the racial differences among the individuals (Harrick & Sullivan, 1995). For the purpose of this study Gender Harassment and Generalized Workplace Harassment have been chosen and because they are studied strictly in an office workplace context so they would be addressed collectively as Workplace harassment in this study to address to their collective effects on the quality of work life of an employee; Quality of work life can be explained as a set of elements such as job security, reward systems, training and advancement opportunities and participation in decision making which in combined form add positively towards the physical as well as mental wellbeing of an employee and also adds towards the work that an employee performs in an organization, quality of work life can also be defined as being a multidimensional construct that includes concepts like job security, reward system, training and opportunities for career advancement and being able to participate in decision making (Dargahi & Yazdi, 2007).

In this study “job stress” and “organizational commitment” would be mediating the effect of harassment on Quality of Work Life, job stress is stress as a state of disequilibrium in the system of variables relating people to their environment that results in a change in people's normal levels of well-being (Hart, Wearing, & Headey, 1993), and organizational commitment is defined as containing in it an employee’s overall positive attitude for hi/her organization (Porter, Richards, Richard, & Paul, 1974).

The target industry for this study is the Banking sector of Pakistan; the reason for choosing the banking sector is that it is one of the most stable and developed institutions of the country.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Harassment, an unwelcomed behavior exists in almost all types of industries, the effects of harassment are so profound that large number of researchers have studied this phenomena and the most studied type is that of sexual harassment which is mainly faced by the females in an organization, but for this study two other types of harassment have been selected which are gender harassment, gender harassment is the most common form of the harassment (Parker & Griffin, 2002), still the prime target of gender harassment are women but the nature of harassment is such that the harassing behavior is not necessarily sexualized (Piotowski, 1998), and generalized workplace harassment is the type that is repeated aggressive as well as hostile verbal and non-verbal actions and this type does not include aggressive or hostile behavior that is physical in its nature (Salin, 2009) and the target of this type of harassment can be both males and females and the results of this harassment include unreasonable interference with an employee’s work performance, affecting an employee’s job prospects (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 1993).

For this study the independent variable is assumed and termed as Office Harassment and it has two elements that are 1) Generalized workplace harassment and 2) Gender harassment, both of these harassment types collectively will be addressed as Office harassment for the purpose of this study.

For this study Generalized workplace harassment is the first element of the independent variable. Generalized workplace harassment is a form of Psychological harassment and it is known by many different names including “generalized workplace abuse” (Richman, et al., 1999), “mobbing” (Heinz, 1990) and generalized workplace harassment is also known as “victimization” (Aquino, Grover, Bradfield, & Allen, 1999). Scholars have studied generalized workplace harassment under different contexts, for example (Ehrenreich, 1999) tried to understand the sex based harassment; besides making a better understanding of the phenomena researchers like (Stale & Bjorn, 1997) have studied the workplace harassment in the context of victimization of male workers revealing the ill effects of harassment in males; while other have studied GHW in the context of observing and evaluating the prevalence, perception and its degree and the impact of generalized workplace harassment (Sandvik & Tracy, 2006), has also been studied in the context of its effect on drinking outcomes (Richman J. A., Rospenda, Flaherty, & Freels, 2001); it has been studied that bullying increases risk of protracted duress stress disorder also known as PDSD (Scott & Stardling, 2001), now the bullying and generalized workplace harassment are the same so one could observe the words often used interchangeably when the action is repetitive, continual, abiding and with all of this there is a power imbalance (Sandvik & Tracy, 2006) and others have studied GWH under the context of physical well-being deterioration (Kivimaki, Ferrie, Brunner, Head, Shipley, & Vahtera, 2005). In this study the gender harassment would be studied affecting an employee’s quality of work Life. No matter the name, this type of harassment includes verbal aggression, humiliation and interruption and isolation from important work activities (Lim & Cortina, 2005); moreover generalized workplace harassment can also be looked at as debauching workplace interactions that don’t absolutely involve gender (Richman J. , et al., 1999) and it is sub-lethal, non-physical violence, it is deliberate, repeated, reasonably severe interpersonal hostility (Namie, 2003); further elaborating the previous statement, the generalized workplace harassment is that in which any employee at any stage of his/her career regardless to their ethnicity, demography and gender can be subjected to this form of harassment (Saunders, Huynh, & Goodman-Delahunty, 2007). Different scholars have addressed generalized workplace harassment (GWH) in different contexts and for the purpose of this study the GWH is being studied under the context of its effect on Quality of Work Life (QWL), and for this study the GWH is defined as a kind of harassment that includes verbal aggression, disrespect, seclusion at workplace, a behavior that is threatening in nature and in addition all of these behaviors are repetitive in nature.

For this study Gender Harassment is the second element of the independent variable. In a country like Pakistan women have started working along men side by side in the organizations and although women are being welcomed in the organizations across the country the traditional organizational settings are still very male dominated in their setup and as a result women tend to face resistance in getting accepted as equals in the organizations, the behaviors that the working women most frequently face is the behavior of gender harassment, gender harassment is simply an inequity in gender (Herring, 1999), gender harassment can also be defined as the raw verbal or physical or both behaviors that represent themselves hostile and offensive, furthermore gender harassment is a demeanor that is sexist in nature (Fitzgerald, Drasgow, Hulin, Gelfand, & Magley, 1997). The gender harassment doesn’t fall under the jurisdiction of law because it is a behavior based on hostility that is without any definitive sexual motive (Lim & Cortina, 2005) and it only trigger the experience of epitheticality without the cost of evoked sexual coaction aimed towards member of a gender, customarily, women (Lim & Cortina, 2005). Many scholars have studied gender harassment affecting an employee at workplace for instance work by (Raver & Nishii, 2010), (Antecol & Cobb-Clark, 2001) have studied gender harassment in the workplace context and observed their effects on the factors affecting an employee; some researchers have studied gender harassment in the context of real versus imagined harassment and they have documented the results of their experiments (Woodzicka & LaFrance, 2001); researchers have also studied gender harassment as a tool for one gender(men) to protest against the opposite gender(women) (Miller, 1997) while some have studied gender harassment’s negative consequences on distress and over performance demand (Parker & Griffin, 2002) others have studied on how to combat gender harassment in cyber space (Citron, 2009); some researchers have studied the effects and how employees cope with the harassment based on gender (Thorpe, 1990) and some researchers have tried to contribute in emerging concept in law regarding Discrimination (Ravitch, 1995). For the purpose of this study the concept of gender harassment is being studied under the context of Quality of Work Life (QWL). And gender harassment itself for the purpose of this study means the kind of harassment in which the harassed suffers from inequity, uncivil and hostile behavior.

The dependent variable for this study is Quality of Work Life (QWL); originally the term of quality of work life was used for the first time at international labor relations conference in 1972 (Hian & Einstein, 1990). QWL is very important for any organization as it is liable for attracting new workforce and retention of the existing workforce in any organization (Saraji & Dargahi, 2006). As far as the meaning of Quality of work life is concerned, it is an umbrella term that includes many concepts (Krueger, Brazil, Lohfeld, Edwars, Lewis, & Tjam, 2002) quality of work life is a concept that aims at bringing the human aspect to the mechanized work environment of today, the aim is to ensure mental as well as physical well-being of an employee and this concept can further be enhanced by inclusion of the notion of welfare that is obtained by the employee during the course of employment, into the concept of Quality of Work Life. QWL can also be defined as the consideration for the exigency and longing of an employee with regards to the working conditions, remuneration, and chances of professional development, work-family role balance, safety and social interactions at workplace and social relativity of employee’s own work (Walton, 1973) (Sirgy, Siegel, & Lee, 2001) (Tzafrir & Gur, 2007). Some researchers have termed QWL as management philosophy which improves the dignity of an employee and their well-being and it paves the way for an organizational culture change (Ivancevich & Matteson, 1990). Some scholars define QWL as combination of strategies, procedures and ambiance related to a workplace that altogether enhance and sustain the employee satisfaction by aiming at improving work conditions for the employees of the organizations and as a result of that improved QWL improving the effectiveness of the organizations for the employers (Saraji & Dargahi, 2006) and for some QWL is favorable conditions and ambiances at a workplace which sustains and enhances employee satisfaction through rewards, professional growth chances and job security (Lau & May, 1998). Different scholars have been studying QWL under different contexts broadening the general understanding of QWL and how it affects and reacts in different situation, for example scholars have observed how a company’s perceived QWL affects its market and financial performance (Lau & May, 1998). Some researcher have studied the QWL in the context of retention of employees (Gilford, Zammuto, & Goodman, 2002), while some researcher have studied the assessment of quality of the people’s working life (Kirby & Harter, 2001). Quality of Work Life for this study is with regards to the gender and generalized workplace harassment and how these two types of harassment affect the QWL of an employee. And for this study the QWL is defined as the concept that aims at providing employee job satisfaction through safe healthy working conditions (Anderson, Crous, & Schepers, 1996), social equity and collaboration at workplace, in other words QWL is studied through a psychosocial aspect. In this study QWL is mainly evaluated through the context of job satisfaction; job satisfaction further is taken as a multidimensional psychosocial construct, and from a multidimensional point of view job satisfaction is considered as a global attitude, that employees experiment when they face during their work, which results from an employee’s own perception regarding the work, organizational characteristics and individual need differences and individual values (Churchill, Jr, Ford, & Walker, Jr, 1974).

In this study Job stress and Organizational commitment would mediate the relationship between independent and dependent variable. Stress occurs when the perceived pressure has exceeded one’s perceived ability to cope such pressure (Palmer, Cooper, & Thomas, 2003). Some researchers have defined stress as a relation between the “perception” of what is demanded from an individual and to that individual’s “perception” of his/her capability to fulfill such demand, and an imbalance would exceed stress threshold amounting to stress (Clancy & McVicar, 2002). The term job stress is used to distinguish stress from other sources from the stress generated from specific job of an employee, Job stress is defined as combined effect increased demand from job and low control over such job (Bosma, Peter, Siegrist, & Marmot, 1998). Furthermore job stress is an emotional experience that contains the elements of fear, alarm, worry, vexation, anger, sorrow (Motowidlo, Packard, & Manning, 1986), and job stress occurs in the attendance or the vacancy of more enduring departure from usual working (Parker & DeCotis, 1983). Scholars have used the job stress as mediating variables under different conditions; researchers have conducted a study observing the mediating effects of job stress in the relationship between safety attitudes and accident rates (Siu, Phillips, & Leung, 2004); furthermore, scholars have also studied optimism and job burnout in college students and they in this context have used job stress as a mediator (Chang, Rand, & Strunk, 2000). Another research studied job stress as mediator in the context of self-efficacy and how it may protect an individual from job strain experiences resulting in low chances for increased burnout (Schwarzer & Hallum, 2008). In this study the job stress is taken as a mediator to mediate the relation between Office Harassment and Quality of Work Life.

Organizational Commitment is the second mediator in this study. Organizational commitment can be characterized by a willingness of an employee to expend much effort on the behalf of the organization (Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979); researchers suggest that the organizational commitment is a multidimensional concept that includes three components that are: normative, affective and continuance commitment (Meyer & Allen, 1991); another study defined organizational commitment as having three main components (a) firm belief in organization’s goals and acceptance of such goals (b) Consent in exertion of extensive effort on the behalf of the organization and (3) an absolute desire to retain organizational identity (Porter, Richard, Richard, & Paul, 1974); number of researches suggest that organizational commitment is connected to behaviors which bolster organizational effectiveness (Mayer & Schoorman, 1992) (O'Reily III & Chatman, 1986) and this effectiveness in part affects the quality of work life because effectiveness would come from members of organization behaving in such a way that its supportive of organizational goals which would only happen if their QWL is positive. For this study Organizational commitment is an employee’s willingness to retain organizational membership and desire to associate him/her-self with the organization and its overall goals.

THERRETICAL FRAMEWORK

The study for this research work would be a non-intervention study as no intervention would be made and only data would be gathered from the researchable situation. The study includes an element of both qualitative and quantitative study.

SCHEMATIC DIAGRAM

OFFICE HARASSMENT:

1-Gender Harassment (GH)

2-Generalized workplace harassment (GWH)

Job Stress

Quality of Work Life (QWL)

Organizational commitment

In this model Office harassment is the independent variable which comprises of further two elements (1) Gender harassment and (2) Generalized workplace harassment; job stress and organizational commitment are two mediators in the relationship between independent and dependent variables that have been taken into account; in the model the employee’s Quality of Work Life is the dependent variable which is affected by the office harassment.

HYPOTHESES

From the model for the purpose of this study following hypotheses have been drawn.

H1- Office Harassment has a negative effect on the Quality of Work Life of an employee. It is hypothesized that as the Office harassment would increase the employee’s Quality of Work Life would decrease.

H2- Job Stress mediates the relation between Office Harassment and an employee’s Quality of Work Life. The second hypothesis states that Job stress acts as a mediator for this model and carry’s the effect of Office harassment to the employee’s Quality of Work Life.

H3- Organizational Commitment mediates the relation between Office Harassment and an employee’s Quality of Work Life. The second hypothesis states that organizational commitment acts as a mediator for this model and carry’s the effect of Office harassment to the employee’s Quality of Work Life.

SAMPLE SIZE

For this study the target sample was the banking sector of Pakistan, and females the main respondents were women employees. The type of sampling was convenience sampling due to the budget and time constraints.. To collect the data, a questionnaire was used which consisted of questions regarding gender harassment, generalized workplace harassment and the level of Quality of Work Life of the bank employees. The questionnaire was administered in banks that are top players in the banking industry and represents the industry of the country. Questions related to job stress and organizational commitment was also included in the questionnaire to analyze the mediation these two variables provided. Out of 100% questionnaires circulated overall response rate was 38%.

The software used for this study was SPSS; this particular software was used due to its easy availability and also due to its ease of use and data importability and exportability to other MS office packages. SOBEL TEST was run to find out mediation between independent and dependent variable further conditions set by (Baron & Kenny, 1986) were also considered and checked.

Result & Analysis:

Reliability and Validity of Data:

Table 2

Sr. No.

Variable

Total Items

Cronbach’s Alpha

1

Gender Harassment

8

.93

2

Generalized Work Place Harassment

20

.96

3

Job Stress

4

.71

4

Organizational Commitment

15

.92

5

Quality of Work Life

14

.82

Total Alpha

61

.87

SOBEL TEST

VARIABLES IN SIMPLE MEDIATION MODEL

Y

QWL

X

GH

M

JS

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND PEARSON CORRELATION

Mean

SD

QWL GH JS

QWL

3.4006

.5302

1.0000

GH

2.3098

.9978

-.6209 1.0000

JS

2.4130

.8453

-.5687 .7737 1.0000

DIRECT AND TOTAL EFFECTS

Co-efficient

S.E.

t

Sig(two)

b(YX)

-.3299

.0628

-5.2539

.0000

b(MX)

.6554

.0809

8.0996

.0000

b(YM.X)

-.1381

.1164

-1.1857

.2422

b(YX.M)

-.2394

.0986

-2.4268

.0195

INDIRECT EFFECT & SIGNIFICANCE THROUGH NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

Value

S.E.

LL 95 CI

UL 95 CI

Z

Sig(two)

Effect

-.0905

.0777

-.2428

.0618

-1.1646

.2442

*******************************************************************

*******************************************************************

VARIABLES IN SIMPLE MEDIATION MODEL

Y

QWL

X

GWH

M

JS

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND PEARSON CORRELATION

Mean

SD

QWL GWH JS

QWL

3.4006

.5302

1.0000

GWH

2.4565

.8480

-.4921 1.0000

JS

2.4130

.8453

-.5687 .6789 1.0000

DIRECT AND TOTAL EFFECTS

Co-efficient

S.E.

t

Sig(two)

b(YX)

-.3076

.0820

-3.7496

.0005

b(MX)

.6767

.1103

6.1342

.0000

b(YM.X)

-.2730

.1055

-2.5879

.0131

b(YX.M)

-.1229

.1051

-1.1686

.2490

INDIRECT EFFECT & SIGNIFICANCE THROUGH NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

Value

S.E.

LL 95 CI

UL 95 CI

Z

Sig(two)

Effect

-.1848

.0784

-.3383

-.0312

-2.3580

.0184

*******************************************************************

********************************************************************

VARIABLES IN SIMPLE MEDIATION MODEL

Y

QWL

X

GH

M

OC

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND PEARSON CORRELATION

Mean

SD

QWL GH OC

QWL

3.4006

.5302

1.0000

GH

2.3098

.9978

-.6209 1.0000

OC

3.3304

.7143

.7968 -.6659 1.0000

DIRECT AND TOTAL EFFECTS

Co-efficient

S.E.

t

Sig(two)

b(YX)

-.3299

.0628

-5.2539

.0000

b(MX)

-.4767

.0805

-5.9213

.0000

b(YM.X)

.5111

.0898

5.6903

.0000

b(YX.M)

-.0862

.0643

-1.3408

.1870

INDIRECT EFFECT & SIGNIFICANCE THROUGH NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

Value

S.E.

LL 95 CI

UL 95 CI

Z

Sig(two)

Effect

-.2437

.0598

-.3609

-.1264

-4.0728

.0000

*******************************************************************

*******************************************************************

VARIABLES IN SIMPLE MEDIATION MODEL

Y

QWL

X

GWH

M

OC

DESCRIPTIVE STATISTICS AND PEARSON CORRELATION

Mean

SD

QWL GWH OC

QWL

3.4006

.5302

1.0000

GWH

2.4565

.8480

-.4921 1.0000

OC

3.3304

.7143

.7968 -.4896 1.0000

DIRECT AND TOTAL EFFECTS

Co-efficient

S.E.

t

Sig(two)

b(YX)

-.3076

.0820

-3.7496

.0005

b(MX)

-.4124

.1107

-3.7245

.0006

b(YM.X)

.5426

.0770

7.0504

.0000

b(YX.M)

-.0839

.0648

-1.2940

.2026

INDIRECT EFFECT & SIGNIFICANCE THROUGH NORMAL DISTRIBUTION

Value

S.E.

LL 95 CI

UL 95 CI

Z

Sig(two)

Effect

-.2238

.0685

-.3580

-.0895

-3.2677

.0011

******************************************************************

DISCUSSION

In this study the independent variable is Office Harassment which contains two elements which are GH and GWH. A research suggests that in banking sector 11.6% employees got harassed in the last 6 months while24.6% were harassed in last 5 years and 39.6% witnessed GWH in last 5 years; the study suggested that women (11.4%) more than men (9.9%) suffered from GWH, and the most common GWH experience was found to be withholding of information which was 54% occasionally and 13.9% on weekly or daily basis and this practice followed by task given to employees that had unreasonable (49.3%) or impossible (7.8%) targets or deadlines (Hoel & Cooper, 2000). GWH has been found to have significant effects on employees, the α levels were as follows: α for verbal aggression was α=.80 for females and males; α for disrespectful behavior was α=.80 for females and α=.81 was for males; α for isolation/exclusion was α=.77 for females and α=.76 for males, and α for physical aggression was α=.39 for females and α=.63 was for males (Richman J. A., Rospenda, Flaherty, & Freels, 2001). Study conducted regarding organizational effects of GWH revealed, commitment (β= -.20, p<.01), job satisfaction (β= -.29, p<.01), turnover intentions (β= -.27, p<.01), anxiety and depression (β= -.28, p<.01), and physical symptoms (β= -.26, p< .01) and the relationship with life satisfaction was also significant (β= -.18, p<.01) which meant that GWH was negatively related to organizational commitment (β= -.20, p<.01), job satisfaction (β= -.29, p<.01), turnover intention(β= .27, p<.01), anxiety and depression (β= .28, p<.01) and physical health symptoms (β= .26, p<.01), (Raver & Nishii, 2010).GWH also has been found to be positively related to the stress r(398) = .341, p<.001, and furthermore GWH was found to be related negatively with the job satisfaction r (401) = .589, p<.001 (Sandvik & Tracy, 2006). The second element of independent variable was GH .Study revealed that GH negatively affects organizational commitment (β= -.17, p<.01), job satisfaction (β= -.23, p<.01) and turnover intentions (β= -.28, p<.01) and gender harassment was also found negatively related to organizational commitment (β=-.17, p<.01) (Raver & Nishii, 2010). In another study conducted it was found that due to increase in gender harassment women employees felt that they needed to over perform and that caused psychological distress, gender harassment was positively related to over-performance demands (β= .27, p<.01) and over-performance was found in the study to positively related with psychological distress (β= .28, p<.001), furthermore women reported more gender harassment t (574) = 2.65, p<.01 and over performance demands than males t (574) = 11.83, p<.001 with means 1.93(1.04) and 1.70(1.02) for females and males respectively (Parker & Griffin, 2002) suggesting that the majority of affected are females then males. Researchers have found that gender harassment causes symptoms for psychological trauma (Berg, 2006) while others scholars have established that daily encounter of gender harassment lead to anger, anxiety and depression (Swim, Ferguson, Hyers, & Cohen, 2001) and anxiety and depression leads to stress which disrupts the overall job satisfaction of an employee decreasing his/her QWL. Studies have further confirmed that gender harassment causes loss in productivity, decrease in job satisfaction and professional relationship and increase in turnover intentions and behaviors (Barling, Rogers, & Kelloway, 2001) (Langhout, Bergman, Cortina, Fitzgerald, Darsgow, & Williams, 2005),and some scholars have established that gender harassment causes besides low psychological well-being, greater physical health problems as well (Culbertson & Rosenfeld, 1994) (Fitzgerald, Swan, & Magely, 1997) (Richman, Shinsako, Rospenda, Flaherty, & Freels, 2002) and an increase in an employee’s job stress(results from lower psychological well-being) causes decrease in the employee’s job satisfaction with the correlation between job stress and job satisfaction of r= -.463, p<0.01 and correlation between job stress and skill development at r= -326, p<0.01 (Imtiaz & Ahmad); further researches by scholars have also reinforced these findings that gender harassment causes elevated symptoms of turnover intentions averaging .48 on Cohen’s effect size (d), increase in coworker dissatisfaction was at .79 and decrease levels of work satisfaction was recorded at .58, Cohen’s effect size (d) for organizational commitment, emotional and physical health also ranged from .22 to .79 averaging at .48 (Leskinen, Cortina, & Kabat, 2010), here the Cohen’s effect size (d) suggests that if the values are around .30 then the effect is small, if value is around .50 then the effect is medium and beyond that the effect is large. From the results of scholars the first hypothesis is proved that OH decreases the QWL of an employee as it is proven by scholars that both the constituents (GH, GWH) of Office harassment cause significant adverse effects on the elements that account for the QWL of an employee and one of the important elements is that of job satisfaction although it is not QWL, perception of QWL is usually measured by job satisfaction surveys (Krueger, Brazil, Lohfeld, Edwars, Lewis, & Tjam, 2002); furthermore, job satisfaction is direct positively linked with job performance (standardized path coefficient= .49, t= -4.81) and job satisfaction is linked negatively with turnover intention (standardized path coefficient= .34, t= -2.37) which was further positively and strongly linked with turnover intention (standardized path coefficient= .39, t= -2.70) (Ruyter, Wetzels, & Feinberg, 2001) and this shows the chain reaction of this element of job satisfaction on many aspects of QWL.

The results obtained by applying the SOBEL TEST in SPSS software revealed Fulfilling the conditions set by the (Baron & Kenny, 1986), in the 1st step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable (quality of work life) was (p = .000), and in the 2nd step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and mediator (job stress) was significant at (p = .000) while at 3rd step the relation between mediator (job stress) and independent variable (gender harassment) was found not significant at (p = .242) and the relation between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable remained significant at (p = .019) which suggested that the mediation requirements set by Baron and Kenny were not fulfilled hence no mediation.

Furthermore there was a significant initial relationship between the gender harassment and quality of work life ( = -.62, p = .00) that was not affected after controlling for the mediator ( = -.45, p = .01) which indicates that job stress does not mediate the relationship between the GH and QWL.

SOBEL TEST indicates (p = .244) that means that job stress is a not a significant mediator between gender harassment and quality of work life.

Secondly Fulfilling the conditions set by the (Baron & Kenny, 1986), in the 1st step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable (quality of work life) was (p = .001), and in the 2nd step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and mediator (job stress) was significant at (p = .000) while at 3rd step the relation between mediator (job stress) and independent variable (gender harassment) was found significant at (p = .013) and the relation between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable became insignificant at (p = .249) which suggested that the mediation requirements set by Baron and Kenny were fulfilled.

Initially the relationship between the generalized workplace harassment and quality of work life is ( = -.49, p = .00) and after controlling for the mediator the relationship showed ( = -.19, p = .24) which indicates that job stress mediates the relationship between the GWH and QWL.

SOBEL TEST indicates (p = .018) that means that job stress is a significant mediator between generalized workplace harassment and quality of work life.

Thirdly fulfilling the conditions set by the (Baron & Kenny, 1986), in the 1st step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable (quality of work life) was (p = .000), and in the 2nd step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and mediator (job stress) was significant at (p = .000) while at 3rd step the relation between mediator (job stress) and independent variable (gender harassment) was found significant at (p = .000) and the relation between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable became insignificant at (p = .187) which suggested that the mediation requirements set by Baron and Kenny were fulfilled.

There was a significant initial relationship between the gender harassment and quality of work life ( = -.62, p = .00) that was non-significant after controlling for the mediator ( = -.16, p = .18) which indicates that organizational commitment mediates the relationship between the GH and QWL.

SOBEL TEST indicates (p = .000) that means that organizational commitment is a significant mediator between gender harassment and quality of work life.

Lastly fulfilling the conditions set by the (Baron & Kenny, 1986), in the 1st step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable (quality of work life) was (p = .001), and in the 2nd step the relationship between independent variable (gender harassment) and mediator (job stress) was significant at (p = .001) while at 3rd step the relation between mediator (job stress) and independent variable (gender harassment) was found significant at (p = .000) and the relation between independent variable (gender harassment) and dependent variable became insignificant at (p = .202) which suggested that the mediation requirements set by Baron and Kenny were fulfilled which suggested that the mediation requirements set by Baron and Kenny were fulfilled.

There was a significant initial relationship between the generalized workplace harassment and quality of work life ( = -.49, p = .00) that was non-significant after controlling for the mediator ( = -.13, p = .20) which indicates that organizational commitment mediates the relationship between the GWH and QWL.

SOBEL TEST indicates (p = .001) that means that organizational commitment is a significant mediator between generalized workplace harassment and quality of work life.

The first hypothesis was proved as there was negative relation observed between office harassment and quality of work life, in second hypothesis Job Stress mediated the relation between Office Harassment and an employee’s Quality of Work Life but job stress didn’t mediated gender harassment which was an element of office harassment and organizational commitment successfully mediated relation between office harassment and quality of work life.

RECOMMENDATIONS & CONCLUSION

As the Pakistani culture is conservative that is the reason that women in banking sector were much hesitant in responding to the questions related to harassment and so the data gathering was very difficult and also much resistance was shown on respondent’s part where many denied responding to the questionnaire, so in future it is recommended that research study regarding harassment should be conducted and the respondents be educated about the issue of harassment so as more and more confidence is gained from the respondents to get accurate and true response., keeping this in mind there still exists a greater need to explore the issue of harassment in Pakistani work environment where the problem of harassment exists but people are afraid to talk about it. Another future research path can be to replicate the study in other sectors where women carry out traditional work roles and are in majority. A researcher can further study the effects of studied type of harassment on the quality of work life of female industrial worker of the country. The present study has attempted to shed light on how Office harassing behaviors affects the quality of work life of an employee while job stress and organizational commitment mediate this process.

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