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Case Study Response Abuse of Power


Case Study Response

The case study “Abuse of Power” focuses on what amounts tosexual harassment at work. Many workplaces have rules that safeguardtheir employees from sexual harassment by fellow workers, seniors ornonemployees while in the workplace. However, the case study presentsan example of an organization that is inconsiderate towards suchharassment.

Role of Power

Power is an influencing factor in encouraging sexual harassment. Inmost cases, sexual harassment is perpetrated by those in seniorpositions towards their juniors. Also, victims largely comprise ofmen, especially in organizations where women are assigned less oreasier roles as compared to their male colleagues. When an incidentof sexual harassment occurs in an organization, the victim isexpected to report the case to his or her senior. However, assumingthat the senior is the perpetrator it becomes almost impossible toreport an incident. The senior is at advantage, since their powerfulposition within the company makes it easier for them to makedecisions that could jeopardize their junior’s employment. Thus,due to fear, for instance of losing a job, the victim chooses toremain silent. Even when the victim reports, a senior employee mayconsider the case insignificant as is apparent in the case study.

What Leaders Should Do

Leaders are responsible for protecting the rights of all employeeswithout prejudice. Hence, when sexual harassment is alleged, thefirst step is for leaders to consider it a serious allegation. Theyshould then reassure the individual reporting a case of sexualharassment that the matter will be followed up. Next, leaders need tocarry out investigations to ascertain whether the allegation is trueor false, prior to taking actions against perpetrators. Supposingthat the allegations are true, immediate disciplinary action shouldbe taken against an employee that sexually harasses his or hercolleagues. By doing so, the leaders demonstrate that theorganization does not condone sexual harassment, and at the same timeensures there is no abuse of power in the place of work.

Personal Opinion

The situation cited in the case study is equivalent to sexualharassment. Gallagher explains that every work day was characterizedby the prevalent utilization of foul language. In specific, womenwere often referred to as “sluts, bitches and other epithets thatmost people would find unacceptable in the workplace” (Griffin,2013). In addition, nude images and dirty jokes were widespread.According to the “Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)”,such language is a form of verbal sexual harassment, which makes theworkplace intimidating (Griffin, 2013). It is also obvious that thework environment at C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc allows for women tobe referred to using abusive words. Hence, it was wrong for thedistrict court to have thrown the case away, as there is proof ofsexual harassment. While the judge may have argued that the behaviorin the company was not sex related, it is apparent that it was sexrelated owing to the sexual references towards female workers. Thebehavior was severe because it made the work environment intimidatingfor women.

Online Research on the Case

Online research shows that the case was resolved. The higher courtreversed the rulings made by the district court judge, and referredto the conducts of male workers in the company as proof of anunfavorable work environment for women.


Griffin, R.W. (2013). Fundamentals of management. Boston,Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.