Vredenburgh & Associates, Inc.

Human Factors, Ergonomics, Safety,
Organizational & Biomechanics Consulting

Research

Organizational Effectiveness

 

Vredenburgh, A.G. & Zackowitz, I.B. (2005). Sexual Harassment: A forensic human factors perspective. In Y.I. Noy & W. Karwowski (Eds.), Handbook of Human Factors in Litigation. Chapter 36. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 36-1 – 36-9.

This chapter will illustrate that harassment is a workplace safety issue that can result in physical injury, emotional and professional damage to the victim as well as negative consequences including legal liability to the organization. Because employees frequently spend many of their waking hours at work, their greatest opportunity to meet potential mates is on the job. If organizations prohibit all socializing of employees, they may feel stifled. Therefore, organizations must perform a balancing act: they must provide a safe organizational climate, yet not create an oppressive environment. In order to ensure a satisfactory outcome, both the victims of harassment and the organizations in which harassment occurs have certain responsibilities. We will discuss both the individual and organizational responsibilities and highlight these using actual examples of sexual harassment incidents. Furthermore, the principal forensic issues relevant to the discussion of harassment will be discussed.

Vredenburgh A.G., & Zackowitz I.B., (2002). Sexual Harassment: An organizational safety issue. In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 46th Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 915-919.

Sexual harassment is a serious workplace safety issue. Central to all definitions of sexual harassment is the abuse of actual or perceived power over another individual. At the workplace, harassment creates a fearful and unsafe work environment. If organizational policies, procedures and practices do not prevent sexual harassment, an unsafe condition for employees may result and those organizations may be held liable for the damages. This paper presents a multidimensional study of harassment as a workplace safety issue. The forensic aspects of sexual harassment will be addressed. Two case studies will illustrate the depth and breadth of the harassment problem as an organizational safety issue. Finally, a study will be presented. Ten individuals who have experienced sexual harassment were interviewed in depth regarding their experiences. This multidimensional approach will illustrate that harassment is a workplace safety issue that can result in physical injury, emotional and professional damage to the victim as well as negative consequences to the organization.

Vredenburgh A., Hendrick, H., & Zackowitz, I. (2000). Are personality traits useful predictors of managers’ success? In Proceedings of the XIVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association and 44th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 2-301 – 2-304.

The purpose of this study was to determine which personality traits would predict the success of general managers in the service-oriented hotel industry. It evaluated the differences in personality traits between high and low performing managers in a geographical division of a major international hotel chain. Thirty-one male participants responded to the Guilford-Zimmerrman Temperament Survey, a multi-dimensional personality inventory. T-tests indicated that the high and low performing managers differed the most on three personality variables: ascendance, emotional stability, and objectivity. Comptrollers scored consistently with the low-performing general managers; thus based on these results, they are likely to be poor candidates for promotion into top management. The three personality traits found to be the best predictors in this study are comparable to three of the “Big 5” personality factors that have previously been linked to job performance. The combined prediction of these three subscales accounted for 65% of the variance between the high and low performing groups. The original Guilford-Zimmerman contains 300 questions; thus a shortened version of this instrument tailored for the hotel industry that assesses only these three traits could be developed. This method would be a practical and useful means of predicting which candidates would best be suited for top management in the hospitality industry.

Vredenburgh, A., McLeod, J., & Nebeker, D. (1999). Under what circumstances do extrinsic rewards decrease intrinsic motivation? In Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 43rd Annual Meeting. Santa Monica, CA: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, 830-834.

Vredenburgh, A., Hendrick, H. & Zackowitz, I. (1998). Hotel managers: What personality traits predict their success? (Summary) In Proceedings of the IO/OB 19th Annual Graduate Conference, San Diego, CA., 112-114.

Zackowitz, I. & Vredenburgh, A. (1998). How individuals manage their impressions when presenting to their peers. (Summary) In Proceedings of the IO/OB 19th Annual Graduate Conference, San Diego, CA., 94.