Research project will develop new knowledge about how to prevent sexual harassment at the work place2021-11-22
By focusing on prevention and methods for intervention, researchers Anna Fyrberg Yngfalk and Markus Felleson at CTF, Service Research Center at Karlstad University, hope to contribute with new knowledge.
The two researchers have received funds from the Nordic Council of Ministers through NIKK, Nordic Information on Gender, in order to analyse how Nordic ideals related to management and organisation affect the work environment for people working in the service sector and in retail.
"We know that there are significant problems with harassment from customers within service occupations and retail. The issue has received attention, not least thanks to #metoo," says Anna Fyrberg Yngfalk, associate professor of Business Administration.
The new project will focus on examining customer-centric ideals, which are often seen as “natural” and self-evident to the Nordic approach to organising the work in service occupations. The project brings attention to and analyses how principles related to customer service create problematic power relations and unsustainable work environments.
"Employees are expected to act and fulfil the customers’ demands and at the same time follow the organisation’s principles of always being accommodating towards the customer. This makes it difficult for the employees to set boundaries in case of harassment from customers, which results in stress and vulnerability at the work place."
The goal is to contribute with further knowledge about the implications of organising for the customer, how this can generate gender inequality at work places by establishing power structures and gender structures, which in can lead to violence and sexual harassment towards employees.
The project “Customer Sexual Harassments in the Nordic Service Workplace” will receive approximately one million Swedish kronor within the framework for the Nordic research efforts on sexual harassment in working life. The new project is a continuation and further development of previous research within the project "Customers with benefits: #MeToo, power and gender in customer-centric service work” which was funded by Forte.