Ethical decision making about sexual harassment complaints that stem from dissolved workplace romances : a policy-capturing approach
An experiment was conducted to examine the degree to which Jones' (1991) ethical decision-making model is an appropriate theoretical perspective from which to interpret raters' varying responses to a sexual harassment claim that stems from a dissolved workplace romance. The policy capturing methodology was used with 40 study participants to assess the significance of features of a dissolved workplace romance and sexual harassment situation in predicting participants' responses to a sexual harassment claim. Results revealed that Jones' (1991) ethical decision-making model is appropriate for describing the underlying social-cognitive process for observers responding to a sexual harassment claim that stems from a dissolved workplace romance. Results also suggest that certain features of a workplace romance/sexual harassment scenario are weighted more heavily by observers than other features. Future research, alternative explanations, and implications for policy formation, training programs, and sexual harassment investigations are discussed.