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2021 | OriginalPaper | Chapter

29. Work Alienation and Disengagement: Sexual Harassment and Uber

Author : Paula Alexander Becker

Published in: The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Well-Being

Publisher: Springer International Publishing

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Abstract

Work is fundamental to human flourishing. A toxic work environment can lead to work alienation and disengagement, adverse to human flourishing. Toxic leadership, including sexual harassment by managers, a form of bullying, creates a toxic work environment. Workers value transparency and fairness. The typical way that sexual harassment complaints are resolved in work organizations involves mandatory arbitration and nondisclosure agreements. Not only are these processes non-transparent, but they also enable the continuation of the toxic behavior. The #MeToo movement led to whistleblowing about sexual harassment at the Weinstein Company, Fox News, CBS, NBC, and Uber. Investigations conducted at Uber, following a complaint by a female engineer posted on a public blog, resulted in the resignation of the founder of Uber as CEO and widespread change in corporate procedures, including performance management and compensation systems. New York, New Jersey, and California all have prohibited secret nondisclosure agreements settling sexual harassment complaints. High-tech companies including Uber, Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have voluntarily abandoned mandatory arbitration of sexual harassment claims. Significant culture change is required to eradicate sexual harassment in the workplace, so that the sex roles of female workers are not defined as salient, but rather female workers are judged in terms of the effectiveness of their job performance. Performance management and compensation systems for executives are required to create real culture change in work organizations. The focus on improving organizational transparency and fairness would appropriately be expanded including race harassment and gender identity issues in the workplace.

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Metadata
Title
Work Alienation and Disengagement: Sexual Harassment and Uber
Author
Paula Alexander Becker
Copyright Year
2021
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-30025-8_29