Workplace sexual harassment: exploring the experience of tour leaders in an Asian context

Catherine Cheung, Tom Baum, Amy Hsueh

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Workplace sexual harassment is an issue that has gained increasing prominence in recent years. Owing to factors such as long working hours, night shifts, the prevalence of alcohol and the intimacy of “hospitality service”, the hospitality/tourism industry is particularly susceptible to the problem of sexual harassment (Davis, 1998; Poulston, 2008b; Yagil, 2008). Sexual harassment can have numerous negative effects, including poor working relationships, monetary loss (Gutek, 1985; Schneider et al., 1997), employee dissatisfaction, loss of attachment to the organisation (Boyd, 2002; Gettman & Gelfand, 2007) and increased employee turnover intentions (Burke, 1995; Laband & Lentz, 1998). At an organisational level, high turnover and labour costs are recognised human resource management challenges in the hospitality/tourism industry and, therefore, it is critical for the industry to pay attention to the problem of sexual harassment. However, protecting associates from unwanted sexual attention, whether from colleagues, managers or customers, is also about an employer’s duty of care for their staff and touches on a range of associated equal opportunities and wider ethical concerns (Goldsmith et al., 1997).The purpose of the study is to investigate sexual harassment among tour leaders in Taiwan. The research objectives of this study are as follows:1.To investigate tour leaders’ experiences of sexual harassment behavior at work; 2.To investigate tour leaders’ awareness of the organisational policies/regulations relating to sexual harassment in the workplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalCurrent Issues in Tourism
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Jan 2017


  • sexual harassment
  • tour guide
  • tourism
  • Taiwan


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