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The impact of sexual harassment on job satisfaction, turnover intentions, and absenteeism: findings from Pakistan compared to the United States

Rebecca S Merkin1* and Muhammad Kamal Shah2

Author Affiliations

1 Baruch College – CUNY, 1 Bernard Baruch Way, New York, N.Y. 10010, USA

2 AIR University, Islamabad, Pakistan

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SpringerPlus 2014, 3:215  doi:10.1186/2193-1801-3-215

Published: 1 May 2014


The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast how differences in perceptions of sexual harassment impact productive work environments for employees in Pakistan as compared to the US; in particular, how it affects job satisfaction, turnover, and/or absenteeism. This study analyzed employee responses in Pakistan (n = 146) and the United States (n = 102, 76) using questionnaire data. Significant results indicated that employees who were sexually harassed reported (a) a decrease in job satisfaction (b) greater turnover intentions and (c) a higher rate of absenteeism. Cross-cultural comparisons indicated that (a) Pakistani employees who were sexually harassed had greater job dissatisfaction and higher overall absenteeism than did their US counterparts and (b) Pakistani women were more likely to use indirect strategies to manage sexual harassment than were US targets.

Sexual harassment; Pakistan; Absenteeism; Turnover; Job satisfaction; Collectivism; Power distance