Silence, Voice, and Resilience: An Examination of Workplace Sexual Harassment

Jessica L. Ford, Sonia Ivancic, Jennifer Scarduzio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Whether victims of workplace sexual harassment voice their abuse or remain silent has implications for both organizations and victims. This study surveyed victims and observers of workplace sexual harassment to assess how medium of harassment, and voicing behaviors impact victims’ resilience and perceived vulnerability to future harassment. The study also examined the impact of organizational (in)tolerance of sexual harassment on both victims’ and observers’ organizational withdrawal and perceived vulnerability to future harassment. Findings show that victims’ resilience decreases when victims formally report their sexual harassment and when victims withdraw from their organizations, which is more likely to occur in organizations that are perceived as tolerant of sexual harassment. Results also show that observing sexual harassment had no effect on perceptions of organizational tolerance of sexual harassment. Theoretical and practical implications for organizations attempting to address the problem of sexual harassment are offered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-530
Number of pages18
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Central States Communication Association.


  • Organizational culture
  • employee silence
  • harassment spill over
  • organizational exit
  • reporting sexual harassment
  • tolerance of abuse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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