A reader named "Liz" alerted me to a fascinating new study in the Journal of Applied Psychology. According to the Research Digest Blog (a great blog that specializes in summaries of peer-reviewed psychological research -- produced by the British Psychological Society):
"Witnessing the harassment or uncivil treatment of women at work is bad not only for female employees, but for the productivity of the whole organisation.
That’s according to Kathi Miner-Rubino and Lilia Cortina in America, who surveyed 871 female and 831 male university employees, including academic and support staff.
Male and female employees who said they had witnessed either the sexual harassment of female staff, or uncivil, rude or condescending behaviour towards them, tended to report lower psychological well-being and job satisfaction. In turn, lower psychological well-being was associated with greater burn out and increased thoughts about quitting."
They offer additional details; I also suggest checking out the blog in general, it is wonderful. The complete reference to the study is:
Miner-Rubino, K. & Cortina, L.M. (2007). Beyond targets: Consequences of vicarious exposure to misogyny at work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92, 1254-1269.
This research is so important because -- consistent with prior research on bullying -- it provides further evidence that allowing assholes to run rampant in an organization doesn't just hurt the victims, it hurts everyone.