A Feature, not a Bug: Sexual Harassment as Organizational Context, and Implications for Leadership

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Sexual harassment is a persistent and pervasive problem in contemporary workplaces. Many different sources and scholars have framed sexual harassment as a leadership problem. For some, this means sexual harassment results from poor leadership, while for others it means that leadership is solution to the problem. Despite the gulf between these two conclusions, there exists no systematic analyses of this research, of the methodological and theoretical models it deploys, or of the broader consequences for leadership practice. We therefore perform a systematic review of 101 articles across journals and disciplines to explore how researchers have analyzed and understood the relationship between sexual harassment and leadership. Our initial results suggest that researchers have focused on not only on causes and solutions, but also on the consequences of sexual harassment for the dynamics of leadership in organizations. Our preliminary analysis also suggests that research on sexual harassment and leadership has adopted a primarily leader-centric focus on individual leader behaviors rather than a broader systemic focus on leadership dynamics. In this context, our review can contribute a better picture of how these two complex social phenomena interact, while also providing new insights into the gendered, systemic, and relational dynamics of leadership itself.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2022
Number of pages25
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Event5th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Leadership Symposium: Leadership and Context - Mykonos, Greece
Duration: 5 May 20227 May 2022


Conference5th Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Leadership Symposium


  • Sexual harassment
  • Leadership
  • Systematic review
  • Gender
  • Context

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