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Social sexual behaviour and co-worker trust in start-up enterprises

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-22, 15:30 authored by Robert Gillanders, Roisin LyonsRoisin Lyons, Lisa van der Werff
Workplace behaviours and norms are gaining increased prominence in the literature on start-up enterprises. Research attention has focused on the critical role that these behaviours and norms play in influencing start-up effectiveness but our understanding of their role in influencing trust in a start-up environment is underdeveloped. The present article investigates the role that workplace social sexual behaviours play in shaping co-worker trust within start-ups. Using data from the GUESSS (2018) international study of entrepreneurial attitudes and experiences, we find that certain social sexual behaviours undermine trust, and related outcomes such as the willingness to delegate and the sense that co-workers are honest. In particular, experiencing inappropriate looks, flirtation, or sexual gossip predict lower levels of co-worker trust. Our findings also indicate that characteristics of the source of the behaviour are important in terms of gender and hierarchical relationship. In our discussion section, we consider the mechanisms underlying these relationships and in particular how social sexual behaviour may influence trustworthiness. Taken together, our results point to a significant efficiency cost to new enterprises that take a permissive view of social sexual behaviour in the workplace.

History

Publication

Small Business Economics;57, pp. 765–780

Publisher

Springer

Note

peer-reviewed

Rights

The original publication is available at www.springerlink.com

Language

English

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