Influence Of Sexual Harassment On Job Performance Of Secretaries In An Organization

Project and Seminar Material for Secretarial Administration

Influence Of Sexual Harassment On Job Performance Of Secretaries In An Organization (Daniel)


Sexual Harassment globally is perceived to be an offensive act aimed at violating the fundamental human right of women and also violate their dignity. This negative trend though unpleasant wherever it takes place have a very adverse effect when it occur within an organizational setting. This is because apart from the physical and psychological trauma it exposes the victims to, their productivity are greatly affected. This Study titled “influence of sexual harassment on job performance of secretaries in an organization” is written to appraise the causes and effects of sexual harassment in some selected organizations and the extent to which it affect employee productivity. The researchers elicit data from both primary and secondary sources, analysis were made using the simple percentage while hypotheses were tested using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). The paper concludes that women at the lover cadre are mostly harassed and it affects their performance in the organizations. Finally, the paper recommends stringent rules be put in place to protect women against sexual harassment.

Table of Content

  • Title Page
  • Certification
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of Content
  • List of Tables
  • Abstract

Chapter One:


  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organisations of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References

Chapter One


1.1 Background to the Study

Sexuality is part of human life and existence. Ideally, sexual relationship should be mutual and between two adults, who consented without any form of coercion (Haruna et al., 2016).). When a sexual activity is as a result of intimidation of any sort, it becomes worrisome and an infringement to the individual’s human right (Ramakrishnan, 2019) and this intimidation into unsolicited sexual activity usually puts the victim at a disadvantaged position for lack of consent (Cassino & Besen‐Cassino, 2019). Shaw et al. (2018) contended that in the workplace, sexual harassment is a serious crime with grievous cost to the victims, co-workers and the organization. This attribute makes sexual harassment in the workplace a much talked about organizational vice outside inherent job factors. In Nigeria, the organizational climate may not have aided harassment-free workplace due many industry related problems which are not unconnected to institutional corruption (Ezeh & Etodike, 2016), uncontrolled abusive relationship between superiors and their subordinates in most public organizations (Ezeh et al., 2018), high levels of incivility among workers (Etodike & Ezeh, 2017) and most importantly the prevailing organizational climate (Joe-Akune et al., 2018) in Nigerian higher institutions. Many female workers die in silence than report sexual harassment for the fear of losing their jobs due to the growing unemployment rate in Nigeria (Etodike et al., 2018) and this reduces workers involvement in the work (Joe-Akunne, 2018) and reduces organizational effectiveness (Shaw et al., 2018) due to the emotional, financial and social cost of sexual harassment (Haruna et al., 2016). In most cases, sexual harassment creates job insecurity among victims as an outcome of leader-member relationship or member-member relationship (Ezeh et al., 2017).

Sexual harassment is an organizational vice with unpalatable organizational outcomes including ineffectiveness, indifference, low job involvement and general poor citizenship behaviour towards the organizational members and the organization. Serious incidences of sexual harassment may be precursors to tarnishing organizational image, their integrity and the confidence of the public towards such organizations. It also leads to loss of job on the part of the employees and emotional trauma when it is constantly experienced by a hapless employee without being addressed. In some cases, it may lead to organizational anticlimax. These negative antecedents affect the job, the employees as well as the employers and the organization in whole and thus; make sexual harassment a contentious issue in the organization.

According to Mkata and Sabala (2008), PSCs face challenges as organizations, and their workers experience an array of challenges either individually or as a group. A study by the British government, regulatory body and security industry authority quoted low salaries and wages as a challenge, (Murunga, 2011). In South Africa, the challenge of working hours and wages led the government in 1996 to legislate a law that compelled employers to limit working hours and increase salaries (Visser & Rinan, 1996). Mkata and Sabala (2008), state long working hours as one of the main challenges that the PSGs face in Kenya. Security guards often work at least for twelve (12) hours per day with no lunch breaks hence taking their meals while on duty and the salary does not consummate to the working hours. KIPPRA (2004), points out the problem of low pay. It further states another challenge that the PSCs retain casual employees for long irrespective of duration of their service to the company, which is against the employment Act, 226 that requires an employee after working for three months continuously to receive a promotion to permanent basis. However, the challenges that female guards face differ from their male colleagues. In essence, female guards are more vulnerable as compared to male guards. Heidensohn (1992), state that female guards work in a male dominated framework of security, which is a challenge on itself. As a result, this influences their work performance as female guards, hence unwanted discrepancies at the work place. He further posits that women play key roles in maintenance of order in the society but amidst playing these security roles, the female guards face many challenges which major among them is sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment is an illegal act of a sexual nature, which prompts an individual(s) to feel that his or self respect is tampered with where that reaction is reasonable in the circumstances. (Australia Sex Discrimination Act 1984). Dale (2004), states that issues of sexual harassment need serious attention in the security industry as they influence the performance of the female guards negatively in their workstations. Female guards have cited the factors, which influence their work performance, and major among them is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment causes psychological effects, contributes towards absence and lateness to work and creates a hostile working environment.

This therefore affects how the guard discharges her duties and shows how sexual harassment influences the output/outcome which is the performance of the female guards. In her study, Karega (2002) describes the challenge of workplace sexual harassment, in a case study of a textile industry whereby she found out that about 90% of women respondents have experienced or observed sexual harassment in the vicinity of their workplace. She found out that 95% of women who had suffered sexual harassment at their place of work were afraid to report because of fear. In addition, she found out that those who reported sexual harassment were at risk of being sacked or demoted. Therefore, the study gives good evidence of the existence of sexual harassment in different workplaces.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Sexually harassment wherever it is found is problematic as most often it is perpetrated by superiors against subordinates or between people of uneven status with one capable of taking advantage of the other or willing to exploit the other’s vulnerability as inferior (Sadler et al., 2018). Despite its devastating consequences, most literature in tertiary institutions were devoted to teacher-student sexual harassment with little evaluation into the harassment trend experienced by other female folk in the tertiary institutions such as female workers. Like female students, female workers are also targets of sexual harassment and exploitation (Oche et al. 2020). Many studies in sexual harassment in many organizations have neglected the fact that female workers are equally targets and victims of sexual harassment.

1.3. Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine the Influence of sexual harassment on job performance of secretaries in an organization

  1. To examine the prevalence of sexual harassment among secretaries in an organization
  2. To evaluate the causes and effects of sexual harassment on secretaries in an organization
  3. Determine the relationship between sexual harassment and the job performance of secretaries in an organization

1.4 Research Question

  1. What is the prevalence of sexual harassment among secretaries in an organization?
  2. What are the causes and effects of sexual harassment on secretaries in an organization?
  3. What is the relationship between sexual harassment and the job performance of secretaries in an organization?

1.5 Hypothesis of the Study

  • Ho: There is no significance relationship between sexual harassment and the job performance of secretaries in an organization
  • Hi: There is a significance relationship between sexual harassment and the job performance of secretaries in an organization

1.6 Significance of the Study

The purpose of this study was to let more people understand about sexual harassment. Also the study helped to come up with the possible solutions to solve and reduce the cases of sexual harassment in various offices and workplaces.

Therefore, the whole organization and employees came to know how to do when sexual harassment occurs.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will analyze the Influence of sexual harassment on job performance of secretaries in an organization in some selected organizations in Kogi State, Nigeria. The study is limited to some IN some selected organizations in the area. Hence, the respondents for this study will be obtained from and among secondary school students in the study area.

1.8 Limitation of the Study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. However, the researcher were able to manage these just to ensure the success of this study.

1.9 Definition of Terms

i. Harassment:

Is a verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility oversion towards an individual. This is due to that person’s relates friend’s race, skin, colour, religion, gender national origin, age and disability.

ii. Sexual:

The total of who you are, what you believe, what you feel and how you respond, speak, smile, stand, sit, dress, dance, laugh or cry

iii. Sexual Harassment:

Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated where that reaction is reasonable in the circumstances. (Australia Sex Discrimination Act 1984).

iv. Performance:

The process of carrying out and accomplishing a task or function.

v. Grievance:

Being not satisfied or a feeling of injustice having a relationship with one’s terms of work or concerning work which is brought to the attention of management or leadership. (Chand, 2016).

vi. Deployment:

Sending staff to certain places to carry out certain jobs. (Dictionary of Human Resources & Personnel Management)

1.10 Organization of the Study

This research work is organized in five chapters, for easy understanding, as follows.

  1. Chapter one is concern with the introduction, which consist of the (overview, of the study), historical background, statement of problem, objectives of the study, research hypotheses, significance of the study, scope and limitation of the study, definition of terms and historical background of the study.
  2. Chapter two highlights the theoretical framework on which the study is based, thus the review of related literature.
  3. Chapter three deals on the research design and methodology adopted in the study.
  4. Chapter four concentrate on the data collection and analysis and presentation of finding.
  5. Chapter five gives summary, conclusion, and recommendations made of the study.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendations

5.1 Introduction

This chapter summarizes the findings on the influence of sexual harassment on job performance of secretaries in an organization, selected organizations in Kogi State as case study. The chapter consists of summary of the study, conclusions, and recommendations

5.2 Conclusion

This paper has brought to the fore that women at the lower cadre have been mostly harassed and it has affected their productivity in the organizations. More so, the prevalence of sexual harassment in organization is propelled by the poor organizational mechanism to tackle sexual harassment and other related violence against women in the organizations.

The organizations should strictly adhere to rules regarding recruitment, promotion, discipline, reward, and training so that merit prevails against nepotism. This will also ensure that sexual harassment or sexual demands as a measure for bathe in these processes are avoided. More so, proper communication and complaint channel through the establishment of institutional mechanisms to checkmate incidents of sexual harassment while those being found guilty of such offences be adequately sanctioned.

There should be proper and stringent rules regarding the protection and institutionalizing ethics, norms, values and core principles of the organizations. In addition, the organizations should consciously establish models in appraisal of employees so as to avoid the abuse of the process with the intent of supervisors using such as a threat to female employees.

The organizations should introduce and institutionalize sanctions against indecent dressing in the workplace while unwarranted discussions and gossips be avoided so as to avoid synthesizing sexual harassment in the workplace.

5.3 Recommendations of the study

The study recommends that:

  1. The organizations should strictly adhere to regulations regarding recruitment, promotion, discipline, reward, and training so that women sexual harassment is put to a stop.
  2. There should be pronounced policies regarding the institutionalization and regulation of the code of conduct.
  3. Counseling services should be introduced in all security companies especially to take care of those who have been sexually harassed and other issues which affect the wellbeing of the security guards at their workplaces; further, awareness on matters of sexual harassment should be carried out regularly to educate the guards and other employees in the security companies.

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