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Title: Evidence, empathy and emotions: decision-making styles of human resource professionals and their effectiveness in resolving complaints of sexual harassment
Authors: Adikaram, Arosha S.
Kailasapathy, Pavithra
Keywords: Sexual harassment, Complaints, Human resource professionals, Decision-making styles, Dominant style, Back-up style, Effectiveness
Issue Date: 22-Jan-2021
Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited
Citation: Employee Relations: The International Journal © Emerald Publishing Limited 0142-5455 DOI 10.1108/ER-06-2020-0261
Abstract: Purpose – The decision-making styles of human resource professionals (HRPs) in resolving complaints of sexual harassment are extremely important as they form the backbone of effectiveness in the resolution of a complaint. The purpose of this paper is to explore these decision-making styles and gauge their effectiveness in resolving such complaints. Design/methodology/approach – Employing a qualitative research approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 35 HRPs of 30 companies in Sri Lanka. Findings – We found eight decision-making styles used by HRPs in resolving complaints of sexual harassment: (1) analytical, (2) behavioural, (3) directive, (4) conceptual, (5) avoidant, (6) dependent, (7) intuitive and judgemental, and (8) manipulative and persuasive. HRPs were found to generally adopt combinations of these styles, with one or two styles being dominant while one or two were used as back-up styles. In resolving complaints of sexual harassment, certain combinations of these styles were found to be more effective than others because they led to procedural, distributive and interactional justice. Practical implications – The implications of these findings for self-reflection and in training for the HRPs are also discussed. Originality/value – The findings of this study assist us in understanding how and why HRPs make different decisions when resolving seemingly similar complaints and the effectiveness of such decisions.
Appears in Collections:Department of Human Resources Managements

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