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Theoretical perspectives on bystander intervention

Encourage. Support. Act!

Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Part 3: The motivations and actions of bystanders: theoretical perspectives on bystander intervention

Models which account for the circumstances under which different bystander responses occur have been evolving since the 1970s, especially in the fields of criminology and social psychology. The notion of bystanders originated with the study of an event in New York where a young woman, Kitty Genovese, was raped and stabbed to death over a period of half an hour. During the attack, 38 witnesses watched from their windows or heard her screaming but were unwilling or unable to effectively intervene. The term bystander apathy was subsequently used to describe the behaviour of people in emergencies who are aware of a violent assault or an injustice but do not attempt any effective intervention.[150] The clearest finding of bystander research in emergency situations is that the motives and actions of bystanders vary and are influenced by the behaviours of other bystanders.[151] While studies revealing the apathy or silence of bystanders in the face of incivility and violence have dominated empirical work in the area, more recently, this inevitability has begun to be questioned.[152]

Compared to older studies, recent research has revealed more nuanced effects of group size and group-level relationships on the likelihood of bystander interventions and in a broader range of situations than emergencies. While very little work has taken an explicitly applied approach in the context of the workplace, there have been a few recent developments. For example, a recent study of workplace bullying suggested that previously silent bystanders begin to support targets when the latter decide to resign, indicating at least a potential for bystanders to act as change agents[153] within their organisations and a willingness to contribute to a culture which does not tolerate harassment.

Typologies of bystanders have also been proposed, for example characterising these individuals as bullies (someone who enjoys the victimisation but does not want to participate), avoidant (someone who denies the existence of the problem), victims (someone who is frozen and frightened to deviate from social norms) or helpful (someone who attempts to defuse the situation).[154]

A recent and promising model which is relevant to bystander issues in the workplace is based on empirical and theoretical work on employee voice, procedural justice and social identification. It proposes a process by which a workplace observer will respond to a perceived justice violation of a co-worker.[155] The model contains 4 propositions which are summarised as follows:

  1. When an observer is similar to the target of the injustice, they will identify with them
  2. When an observer identifies with the target this increases the likelihood that an event will be noticed and perceived as an injustice
  3. When an injustice is perceived, the decision of an observer to respond to or report the injustice is influenced by the organisational environment
  4. An observer’s decision of whether to use individual strategies or collective strategies depends on the perceived benefits and costs of these options

These propositions are detailed below and draw further on theory and empirical research in a number of aligned areas (eg whistle blowing, organisational ethics, workplace bullying), as well as sexual harassment research, to highlight how this framework may be useful for developing practical bystander interventions in workplace sexual harassment and also the inherent challenges in doing so.

3.1 Cognitive appraisals by bystanders

The first proposition in the justice violation model suggests that when an observer is similar to the target of the injustice, they will identify with them, especially when the benefits of this identification outweigh the costs. This proposition is based on social identity theory which suggests that individuals categorise themselves and others, ascribe value to those categories and, all other factors being equal, identify more strongly with similar others.[156] However, the social standing of the characteristic shared by the target and the observer dictates the extent to which similarity will result in identification.[157] For example, in studies of bystander intervention in crisis situations, a victim is more likely to receive aid if they are perceived to be of high status or in the ‘in-group’.[158] Management studies have also shown that members of high status demographic groups (eg white men) are more likely to exhibit in-group bias than members of low-status demographic groups (eg non-white women).[159] Consistent with this theoretical perspective, US research examining the effects of race on whether sexual harassment judgments had indeed occurred, reports that both black and white observers favour their own race in decisions regarding whether harassment occurred, with white males exhibiting the most racial bias.[160]

An observer is also more likely to identify with a target of injustice if the target is in a position to offer something of value to the observer in the future. The tendency for stronger identification to occur amongst high status ‘in-group’ members and where something of value can be attained, may be problematic in efforts to engage bystanders. Close identification amongst high status group members may pose a particular challenge where sexual harassment is perpetrated by dominant organisational members or where the targets of sexual harassment are employed in lower level occupational positions who have less potential to offer future organisational benefits to bystanders.

The second proposition in the justice violation model is that when the observer identifies with the target this increases the likelihood that an event will be noticed and perceived as an injustice.[161] The individual bystander faces a decision point about whether the target falls within their ‘scope of justice’, which involves both weighing the value of similarity and the likelihood of benefits for maintaining a connection with the target, against the potential costs of being associated with a low-status group.[162] Bystanders also scrutinise the reactions of other observers (eg anxious or uncomfortable versus relaxed or nonchalant), to determine the appropriate framing of the situation.[163] In what has been described as ‘pluralistic ignorance’,[164] bystanders may believe mistakenly that they are in the minority in opposing harassing behaviour.

However, even when social identification is strong and negative reactions by other observers are evident, there may still be significant uncertainty about whether conduct that may constitute sexual harassment is perceived as an injustice, or is high in ‘moral intensity’ (see O’Leary-Kelly & Bowes-Sperry 2001for a review[165]). That is, while some workplace behaviours such as an act of physical violence, obvious racial slurs or overt bullying may evoke clear perceptions of injustice (whether or not this is acted upon), thresholds for what constitutes sexual harassment are often less clear. However, social identification principles would suggest that bystanders are motivated to interpret ambiguous social sexual behaviour perpetrated by an in-group member as something other than sexual harassment, consequently making them less likely to decide to intervene. This poses a significant challenge to the design of bystander interventions in a range of organisational contexts.

3.2 Bystander intervention decisions

Equity or justice theory purports that individuals, when confronted with an injustice, such as where the norms of reciprocity have been violated, are motivated to behave in ways which restore equity.[166] However, this process is far from straightforward. The third proposition in the justice violation model suggests that when an injustice is perceived, the decision of an observer to express voice (such as reporting the injustice) through organisational channels is influenced by the extent to which the organisation is open to voice and will take the observer’s views into account and do something about it. This is related to a person’s expectations about psychological safety and the way they weigh up the potential benefits of changing the target’s (and by implication their own) work environment, versus being seen as a troublemaker or feeling as though the attempts at change have been futile.[167] This weighing up of likely consequences by bystanders is also reflected in the basic premises of the arousal: cost-reward model[168] which proposes that another person’s distress causes physiological arousal in an observer which, in turn, initiates the process of deciding whether to help. This decision involves weighing up the perceived costs of helping versus not helping.

A salient issue in terms of bystander decisions to assist targets in workplace sexual harassment is the nature of preventative and remedial organisational systems, that is, the extent to which the organisational environment supports advocacy for targets and the way the organisation responds once a complaint is made. Without a credible voice system in place, employees may resort to counterproductive behaviours and responses to the observed injustice, such as reduced commitment and productivity, fewer citizenship behaviours, absenteeism and sabotage.[169] Importantly, these same psychological and behavioural responses are directly reflected in the literature attesting to the many costs to organisations of sexual harassment.[170] Thus, justice theories may help explain the more intangible ramifications of sexual harassment and why it is so corrosive, not only for individual targets but for all employees in the broader work environment.

There are indications that masculine norms and identities may also play a part in the likelihood of bystander intervention. In-depth studies of how the desire to appear masculine influenced men’s anticipated responses in descriptions of rape scenarios suggested that male bystanders may decide against protecting women, especially if exclusively in the presence of other men, for fear of being seen as weak, gay and/or unmasculine by their male peers.[171] The extent to which this is a problem for encouraging bystander interventions in sexual harassment is unknown, but it would seem to be a potentially relevant issue given that most sexual harassment involves a male harasser and a female target. Notions of masculine norms may be especially relevant in very male-dominated work settings where sexual harassment has been found to be so problematic.[172]

Another promising model which offers a typology of potential bystander interventions considers two levels of involvement: the degree to which bystanders immerse themselves in the sexual harassment situation (low, high) and the level of intervention immediacy, which is whether the intervention occurs as the sexual harassment event unfolds (high), or later (low).[173] This amounts to four categories of intervention behaviours:

  1. Low immediacy-low involvement, such as when an observer privately advises the target to avoid the harasser or when they advise the target to report the incident but do not get personally involved;
  2. High immediacy-low involvement, such as when an observer redirects the harasser from the event as it unfolds or interrupts the incident;
  3. Low immediacy-high involvement, such as when the observer supports the target when she or he reports the sexual harassment after the event or confronts the harasser after the incident; and
  4. High immediacy-high involvement, such as when a bystander instructs the harasser to cease the conduct during the event or publicly encourages the target to report the conduct.

Evidence from the relatively limited work available which addresses individual-level responses to sexual harassment suggests that the kinds of high-level involvement reflected in this model (both high and low immediacy) are relatively infrequent.[174] Many of the supportive actions which were offered by the majority of witnesses in the Commission’s prevalence survey[175] were consistent with the low immediacy-low involvement category of response. However, responses which would be consistent with low-immediacy-high-involvement behaviours were also reported, albeit less frequently, such as making a formal complaint and confronting the harasser. The reluctance of bystanders to respond at a high level of involvement to sexual harassment at work is understandable because these responses tend to be more confrontational and therefore risky in terms of potential reprisals. As outlined earlier, perceptions of risk are heightened for individuals who are employed in organisations which lack a credible voice system or where the perpetrator is in a powerful position and part of the dominant group.

This distinction between different levels of bystander involvement – either to take public action ‘on the social stage of the organisation’[176] or, simply to be ready to privately support the target emotionally or cognitively[177] – is likely to be important in designing bystander interventions which may prevent sexual harassment. As detailed in Part 2, the level of readiness to be involved is influenced by complex factors such as the characteristics of the bystander, their relationship with the target, perceptions of the situation and the conduct and workplace norms.[178]

Fourth and finally, the justice violation model proposes that the decision regarding whether to use individual strategies or collective strategies to respond to or prevent sexual harassment depends on the perceived benefits and costs of these options.[179] Collective strategies in the broader area of injustice can include high performance work systems or problem-solving teams. In the context of sexual harassment however, collective strategies would be more likely to comprise actions such as issue selling, defined as rallying all members of a group, such as the strategies outlined in the banking and retail environments and the gem mine outlined earlier. While not often conceived as a strategy per se, some research has characterised silence as another collective-level dynamic and drawn attention to the ‘silence climates’ of some organisations where employees believe that speaking up is not worth the effort or may come with personal costs.[180] In contrast to collective strategies, individual-level strategies may include upward problem solving and formal reporting.

3.3 Whistle blowing

Issues related to reporting through formal organisational channels have been addressed in numerous studies addressing sexual harassment but the process of reporting can also be conceived of through the lens of whistle blowing. Whistle blowing is a phenomenon defined as when ‘organisational members disclose illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to persons or organisations who may be able to effect action’.[181]

Studies of whistle blowing are rarely aligned with workplace sexual harassment yet definitions of whistle blowers and bystanders who actively respond to workplace injustices show significant overlap. For example, in one study which explicitly linked the reporting of sexual harassment to notions of whistle blowing, Lee, Gibson Heilmann and Near [182] argued that there is no inherent difference between the two. However, they included in their study both targets and bystanders who reported workplace sexual harassment in their definition of whistle blowers, whereas the focus here is on non-targets.

Research addressing whistle blowing may provide useful insights for discussions of bystander interventions, especially around the challenges in encouraging blowing the whistle on wrongdoing and recommendations for overcoming these challenges. A particular advantage of this area of literature is also that it frequently addresses real life cases which offer a degree of external validity rarely found in many of the experimental vignette studies frequently employed to examine how bystanders perceive sexual harassment.

Whistle blowing can be viewed from a number of theoretical perspectives. From a power perspective,

whistle-blowing represents an influence process in which the whistle-blower attempts to exert power over the organisation or some of its members, in order to persuade the dominant coalition to terminate the wrongdoing being committed... [while] the dominant coalition, in response, may accept the power action and terminate the wrongdoing or evade termination, retaliating against the whistle-blower in an effort to change the power balance.[183]

However, more closely aligned with frameworks explaining bystander intervention decisions, whistle blowing can also be viewed through justice theories and particularly procedural and distributive justice in organisational models.[184] From the vantage point of whistleblowers (or bystanders), perceptions of procedural justice depend on satisfaction with how the organisation dealt with the report or complaint, such as administering the procedure fairly. In contrast, perceptions of distributive justice depend on the level of satisfaction with the outcome, such as terminating the wrongdoing and not retaliating against the whistle-blower.[185]

The well-documented reluctance of targets of sexual harassment to report their experiences internally, as well as theory proposing that bystanders often carefully consider the risks and potential costs to themselves before intervening to prevent or respond to sexual harassment, suggests many employees do not expect just procedures and/or outcomes from the organisation. Supporting this, a study of military employees who observed wrongdoing but did not report it (ie did not blow the whistle), claimed that the primary reason for remaining silent was that they thought nothing could be done to rectify the situation.[186] Unsurprisingly, the power of the whistle-blower relative to the wrongdoer matters in that powerful whistle blowers are more likely to be effective and less likely to suffer retaliation.[187]

There are a number of significant challenges to encouraging whistle blowing that have particular relevance to sexual harassment. The first is the risk of victimisation or retaliation. Consistent with power explanations, retaliation against whistle blowers is thought to occur because management feel that the whistle blowing threatens the organisation’s authority structure, cohesiveness and public image and implies managerial incompetence or carelessness.[188] The Queensland Whistle Blower Study, for example, found that 71 percent of whistle blowers suffered official reprisals and 94 percent were the subject of unofficial reprisals.[189]

Although all Australian states and the ACT have adopted some form of whistle blowing or public interest disclosure protection legislation, the legislation has limited scope[190]. Studies of whistle blowing further reveal that legal sanctions have been largely unsuccessful in encouraging whistle blowing whereas legalistic responses by organisations (such as the development of detailed formal policies that are consistent with legislation and the implementation of systematic investigations and procedures) are more successful.[191] Thus, despite the existence of laws, employees’ behaviour is influenced to a greater extent by what they perceive is likely to happen in their organisations than by legal protections. This line of argument has also been put forward in legal commentary related to sexual harassment. That is, while legal provisions in the federal Sex Discrimination Act and state-based anti-discrimination legislation offer a means of redress for the harms targets of harassment experience, they do not extend to implementing effective, internal, corporate regulation of sexual harassment.[192]

The second significant challenge to encouraging whistle blowing that has relevance to sexual harassment is that situations involving sexual harassment frequently involve a low quality of evidence. This is because sexual harassment frequently occurs away from witnesses (a ‘he said, she said’ scenario) and direct observation of the wrongdoing is relatively rare. Studies have found quality of evidence to be a significant predictor of whistle blowing and to be lower in cases of sexual harassment and unlawful discrimination than in other cases of legal violation such as safety problems, waste and mismanagement.[193] The Australian Department of Parliamentary Services (2005)[194] has outlined the following methods that are thought to best achieve protection of whistle blowers and the encouragement of whistle blowing:

  1. Providing immunity from legal action (such as being exempt from participating in disciplinary or defamation proceedings);
  2. Making it a criminal offense to take detrimental action against a person who has made a protected disclosure; and
  3. Keeping the whistle blower’s identity anonymous.

While there is no guarantee of absolute anonymity to whistle blowers and possible identification will always remain a risk, anonymity is thought to be best achieved by:

  • Providing disclosure regimes which operate on the basis of anonymously provided information;
  • Excluding the identity of the whistle blower as a subject of investigation; or
  • Imposing a duty upon the recipient of the disclosed information not to reveal the discloser’s identity.[195]

The findings evident in the whistle blower literature have important implications for bystander interventions in workplace sexual harassment. As this paper has noted, bystanders (in cases of sexual harassment specifically) have rarely been labelled whistle blowers or their responses linked with the way whistle blowers report wrongdoing or injustices. This is despite sexual harassment being a clear example of broader notions of wrongdoing evident in the whistle blower literature and the focus on organisational processes in both areas. Notwithstanding this separation of definitions, theory and research, the similarities raised here point to strong arguments for linking these areas more closely. Attempts to encourage whistle blowing have received significant political emphasis and media attention in recent years, laws continue to be broadened and strengthened and efforts to protect whistle blowers arguably have had strong public support. Therefore, opportunities to leverage such emphasis and support in the area of sexual harassment appear promising.

[150] B Latane and M Darley, The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? (1970); A Rosenthal, Thirty-eight Witnesses: The Kitty Genovese Case (1964).

[151] B Latane and M Darley, The unresponsive bystander: Why doesn’t he help? (1970).

[152] K Van Heugten, ‘Theorizing active bystanders as change agents in workplace bullying of social workers’ (2011) 92(2) Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, pp. 219-224.

[153] K Van Heugten, as above.

[154] S Twemlow, ‘A psychoanalytic dialectical model for sexual and other forms of workplace harassment’ (1999) 1(3) Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, pp. 249-270.

[155] C Goldberg, M Clark and A Henley, ‘Speaking up: a conceptual model of voice responses following the unfair treatment of others in non-union settings’ (2011) 50(1) Human Resource Management, pp. 75-94.

[156] H Tajfel, Social Identity and Intergroup Relations (1982); H Tajfel and J Turner, ‘The Social Identity Theory of Intergroup Behaviour’ in S Worchel & W Austin (eds), The Psychology in Intergroup Relations (1986), pp. 7-24.

[157] C Goldberg, M Clark and A Henley, ‘Speaking up: a conceptual model of voice responses following the unfair treatment of others in non-union settings’ (2011) 50(1) Human Resource Management, pp. 75-94.

[158] M Levine, C Cassidy and G Brazier, ‘Self-categorization and bystander non-intervention: two experimental studies’ (2002) 32 Journal of Applied Social Psychology, pp. 1452-1454; M Tisak and J Tisak, ‘Expectations and judgments regarding bystanders’ and victims’ response to peer aggression among early adolescently’ (1996) 19 Journal of Adolescence, pp. 383-392.

[159] P Chattopadhyay, M Tluchowska and E George, ‘Identifying the ingroup: a closer look at the influence of demographic dissimilarity on employee social identity’ (2004) 29(2) Academy of Management Review, pp. 180-202; C Goldberg, C Riordan and B Schaffer, ‘Does social identity theory underlie relational demography? A test of the moderating effects of self-continuity and status-enhancement on similarity effects’ (2010) 63(7) Human Relations, pp. 903-926.

[160] K Wuensch, M Campbell, F Kesler and C Moore, ‘Racial bias in decision made by mock jurors evaluating a case of sexual harassment’ (2002) 142 Journal of Social Psychology, pp. 587-600.

[161] C Goldberg, M Clark and A Henley, ‘Speaking up: a conceptual model of voice responses following the unfair treatment of others in non-union settings’ (2011) 50(1) Human Resource Management, pp. 75-94.

[162] S Haslam and N Ellemers, ‘Social Identity in Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Concepts, Controversies and Contributions’ in G P Hodgekinson (ed), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology (2005), pp. 39-188; J Lavelle, D Rupp and J Brockner, ‘Taking a multifoci approach to the study of justice, social exchange and citizenship behaviour: the target similarity model’ (2007) 33(6) Journal of Management, pp. 841-866.

[163] L Bowes-Sperry and A O’Leary-Kelly, ‘To act or not to act: the dilemma faced by sexual harassment observers’ (2005) 30 Academy of Management Review, pp. 288-306.

[164] B Latane and M Darley, The Unresponsive Bystander: Why Doesn’t He Help? (1970).

[165] A O’Leary-Kelly and L Bowes-Sperry, ‘Sexual harassment as unethical behaviour: the role of moral intensity’ (2001) 11 Human Resource Management Review, pp. 73-92.

[166] J Adams, ‘Inequity in Social Exchange’, in L Berkowitz (ed), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (1965), pp. 267-299; R Cropanzano, D Rupp, C Mohler and M Schminke, ‘Three Roads to Organizational Justice’ in J Ferris (ed), Research in Personnel and Human Resource Management (2001), pp. 1-113.

[167] C Goldberg, M Clark and A Henley, ‘Speaking up: a conceptual model of voice responses following the unfair treatment of others in non-union settings’ (2011) 50(1) Human Resource Management, pp. 75-94; K Harlos, ‘When organizational voice systems fail: more on the deaf-ear syndrome and frustration effects’ (2001) 37(3) Journal of Applied Behavioural Science, pp. 324-342; C Pinder and K Harlos, ‘Employee silence: quiescence and acquiescence as responses to perceived injustice’ in K Rowland & G Ferris (eds), Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (2001), pp. 331-369.

[168] J Piliavin, J Dovidio, S Gaertner and R Clark, Emergency Intervention (1981).

[169] M Ambrose, M Seabright and M Schminke, ‘Sabotage in the workplace: The role of organizational injustice’, (2002) 89(1) Organizational Behaviour and Human Decision Processes, pp. 947-965; E De Boer, A Bakker, J Syroit and W Schaufeli, ‘Unfairness at work as a predictor of absenteeism’ (2002) 23(2) Journal of Organizational Behaviour, pp. 181-197; B Klaas, ‘Determinants of grievance activity and the grievance system’s impact on employee behaviour: an integrative perspective’ (1989) 14(3) Academy of Management Review, pp. 445-458; R Moorman, B Niehoff and D Organ, ‘Treating employees fairly and organizational citizenship behaviour: sorting the effects of job satisfaction, organizational commitment and procedural justice’ (1993) 6(3) Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, pp. 209-225.

[170] M Bergman, R Langhout, P Palmieri, L Cortina and L Fitzgerald, ‘The (un)reasonableness of reporting: antecedents and consequences of reporting sexual harassment’ (2002) 87 Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 230-242; D Chan, B Chun, S Chow and S Cheung, ‘Examining the job-related, psychological and physical outcomes of workplace sexual harassment: a meta-analytic review’ (2008) 32 Psychology of Women Quarterly, pp. 362-376; S Charlesworth, ‘A Snapshot of Sex Discrimination in Employment: Disputes and Understandings’ in S Charlesworth, K Douglas, M Fastenau, & S Cartwright (eds), Women and Work 2005: Current RMIT University Research (2006), pp. 81–98; D Crocker D and V Kalembra, ‘The incidence and impact of women’s experiences of sexual harassment in Canadian workplaces’ (1999) 36(4) The Canadian Review of Sociology and Anthropology, pp. 541-559; L Fitzgerald, F Drasgow, C Hulin, M Gelfand and V Magley, ‘Antecedents and consequences of sexual harassment in organizations: a test of an integrated model’ (1997) 82(4) Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 578-589; L Fitzgerald, F Drasgow and V Magley, ‘Sexual harassment in the armed forces: a test of an integrated model’ (1999) 11(3) Military Psychology, pp. 329-343; P Hayes, Taking it seriously: Contemporary experiences of sexual harassment in the workplace. Research Report (2003/2004); Australian Human Rights Commission, 20 Years On: The Challenge Continues – Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace (2004); V Magley, C Hulin, L Fitzgerald and M DeNardo, ‘Outcomes of self–labeling sexual harassment’ (1999) 84(3) Journal of Applied Psychology, pp. 390–402; M Stockdale, ‘The direct and moderating influences of sexual harassment pervasiveness, coping strategies and gender on work-related outcomes’ (1998) 22 Psychology of Women Quarterly, pp. 379-392; C Willness, P Steel and K Lee, ‘A meta-analysis of the antecedents and consequences of workplace sexual harassment’ (2007) 60(1) Personnel Psychology, pp. 127-162.

[171] M Carlson, ‘I’d rather go along and be considered a man: masculinity and bystander intervention’ (2008) 16(1) Journal of Men’s Studies, pp. 3-17.

[172] L Chamberlain, M Crowley, D Tope and R Hodson, ‘Sexual harassment in organizational context.’ (2008) 35(3) Work and Occupations, pp. 262-295; S De Haas and G Timmerman, ‘Sexual harassment in the context of double male dominance’ (2010) European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 1st March.

[173] L Bowes-Sperry and A O’Leary-Kelly, ‘To act or not to act: the dilemma faced by sexual harassment observers’ (2005) 30 Academy of Management Review, pp. 288-306.

[174] D Wear, J Aultman and N Borgers, ‘Retheorising sexual harassment in medical education: women students’ perceptions at five US medical schools’ (2007) 19(1) Teaching and Learning in Medicine, pp. 20–29; J Handy, ‘Sexual harassment in small-town New Zealand: a qualitative study of three contrasting organizations’ (2006) 13(1) Gender, Work & Organization, pp. 1-24.

[175] Australian Human Rights Commission, Sexual Harassment: Serious Business. Results of the 2008 Sexual Harassment National Telephone Survey (2008).

[176] W Gardiner and M Martinko, ‘An organizational perspective of the effects of dysfunctional impression management’ in R Griffin, A O’Leary-Kelly & J Collins (eds), Dysfunctional behaviours in organizations: Violent and deviant behaviour (1998) 23, p. 69.

[177] L Bowes-Sperry and A O’Leary-Kelly, ‘To act or not to act: the dilemma faced by sexual harassment observers’ (2005) 30 Academy of Management Review, pp. 288-306.

[178] A O’Leary-Kelly, L Bowes-Sperry, C Arens Bates and E Lean, ‘Sexual harassment at work: a decade (plus) of progress’ (2008) 35(3) Journal of Management, pp. 503-536; A O’Leary-Kelly, R Paetzold and R Griffin, ‘Sexual harassment as aggressive behaviour: an actor based perspective’ (2000) 25 Academy of Management Review, pp. 372-388.

[179] C Goldman, M Clark and A Henley, ‘Speaking up: a conceptual model of voice responses following the unfair treatment of others in non-union settings’ (2011) 50(1) Human Resource Management, pp. 75-94.

[180] E Morrison and F Milliken, ‘Organizational silence: a barrier to change and development in a pluralistic world’ (2000) 25(4) Academy of Management Review, pp. 706-725.

[181] J Near and M Miceli, ‘Organizational dissidence: the case of whistle blowing’ (1985) 4 Journal of Business Ethics, p. 4.

[182] J Lee, S Gibson Heilmann and J Near, ‘Blowing the whistle on sexual harassment: test of a model of predictors and outcomes’ (2004) 57(3) Human Relations, pp. 297-322.

[183] J Near, T Morehead Dworkin and M Miceli, ‘Explaining the whistle-blowing process: suggestions from power theory and justice theory’ (1993) 4(3) Organization Science, p. 394.

[184] J Greenberg, ‘Organizational justice: yesterday, today and tomorrow’ (1990) 16(2) Journal of Management, pp. 399-432.

[185] J Near, T Morehead Dworkin and M Miceli, ‘Explaining the whistle-blowing process: suggestions from power theory and justice theory’ (1993) 4(3) Organization Science, pp. 393-411.

[186] J Near and M Miceli, ‘Effective whistle-blowing (1995) 20 Academy of management Review, pp. 679-708.

[187] J Near and M Miceli, ‘Wrongdoing, whistle-blowing and retaliation in the US Government: what have researchers learned from the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) survey results?’ (2008) 28(3) Review of Public Personnel Administration, pp. 263-281.

[188] J Near, M Rehg, J Van Scotter and M Miceli, ‘Does type of wrongdoing affect the whistle-blowing process?’ (2004) 14(2) Business Ethics Quarterly, pp. 219-242; J Near, T Morehead Dworkin and M Miceli, ‘Explaining the whistle-blowing process: suggestions from power theory and justice theory’ (1993) 4(3) Organization Science, pp. 393-411; D Weinstein, Bureaucratic Opposition (1979).

[189] W De Maria and C Jan, ‘Eating its own: the whistleblower’s organization in vendetta mode’ (1997) 32(1) Australian Journal of Social Issues, p. 45.

[190] Most state legislation covers only the public sector and does not apply to the corporate, unincorporated or charitable sectors with a few exceptions. In South Australia, whistleblower legislation extends to the private sector. Part 9.4AAA of the Corporations Act also extends whistleblower protection to officers and employees of companies and subcontractors throughout Australia (see [191] J Near, T Morehead Dworkin and M Miceli, ‘Explaining the whistle-blowing process: suggestions from power theory and justice theory’ (1993) 4(3) Organization Science, pp. 393-411; A Trimmer, ‘Whistleblowing: what it is and what it might mean for incorporated legal practices’ (2004) February Law Society Journal, p. 69.

[192] C Parker, ‘Public rights in private government: corporate compliance with sexual harassment legislation’ (1999) 5(1) Australian Journal of Human Rights, pp. 159-193.

[193] M Miceli and J Near, Blowing the Whistle: The Organizational and Legal Implications of Companies and Employees (1992); J Near, M Rehg, J Van Scotter and M Miceli, ‘Does type of wrongdoing affect the whistle-blowing process?’ (2004) 14(2) Business Ethics Quarterly, pp. 219-242.

[194] Department of Parliamentary Services, ‘Whistleblowing in Australia – transparency, accountability... but above all, the truth’ (2004-05). Research note, 14 February, ISSN 1449-8456.

[195] Department of Parliamentary Services, as above.