Electronic Theses and Dissertations


Devalina Nag



Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Committee Chair

Kristen Jones

Committee Member

Alex P Lindsey

Committee Member

Jessica F Kirk

Committee Member

Caitlin M Porter


The goal of the current study is to illustrate that leadership initiatives to combat sexual harassment (SH) can operate as visible signals of an organization’s intent to support employees who are victims of and bystanders to SH. To that effort, my dissertation is the first attempt to explicitly put the onus of combating SH on the leaders of an organization (rather than training employees not to harass). Additionally, I hypothesize that signals of gender diversity in the organization overall and female representation in management specifically will interact to enhance the effectiveness of such initiatives in combatting workplace SH. I also expect that psychological climate of SH in organizations and perceived behavioral integrity of management will operate as mediators and shape an employee’s decision to report incidents of SH to higher authorities. I draw from the tenets of signaling theory to explain how employees in an event of SH look for signals to help them decide whether to report the event and whether to turnover. To test my predictions, I employed a three-wave longitudinal approach, with 3 weeks separating each wave. A nationally representative sample (N = 2,626) of employees in the U.S. working full-time were recruited using services offered by Qualtrics Research Services. Results demonstrated that leadership initiatives to combat SH had significant direct effects on the outcomes in my model such that it led to increased reporting of SH incidents and decreased in turnover intentions. Further, leadership initiatives to combat SH had significant indirect effects on the outcomes via psychological climate of intolerance for SH and management’s perceived behavioral integrity. Contrary to my expectations, gender diversity and gender representativeness did not moderate the relationship between leadership initiatives to combat SH and employees’ perceptions of management behavioral integrity. Altogether, the results of my dissertation provide a solution-orientated approach to change SH cultures by shedding light on the criticality of organizational leaders taking a visible stance against the prevalence of workplace SH.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest.


Open access