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Cross-gender immediacy behaviors and sexual harassment in the workplace: a communication paradox

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2 Author(s)
L. J. Rifkind ; Dept. of Commun., Georgia State Univ., Atlanta, GA, USA ; L. F. Harper

It is asserted that immediacy communicates approachability and availability, and that interpersonal relationships are crucial to job effectiveness and satisfaction for technical communication professionals. Increased concern about sexual harassment in the workplace, however, creates a paradox; while immediacy behaviors can establish a positive workplace environment, sexual harassment policies can serve to inhibit such behaviors. As a result, technical communication professionals in the arenas of training policies and procedures construct training programs that provide both male and female perspectives and prevent the slanting of materials inappropriately in one direction over another. Immediacy behaviors that are appropriate within the context of sexual harassment policies in the cross-gender workplace are addressed, with emphasis on the above paradox

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 4 )