Workplace Sexual Harassment And Legal Boundaries Essay Example

Analysis of the Situation

In the case at hand, a supervisor is trying to use his authority to gain sexual favors from his junior staff. Frank, the corporate sales supervisor, wants Mary, the sales associate, to have sex with him so that he can sign his expenses bill (incurred to the benefits of the company) for reimbursement. In this scenario, the boss is said to have such behavior where he promises women workers favors and immunity if they accept to have an affair with him. This is contrary to ethics in human resources management, where such actions should not happen. Mary stands on her ground and refuses the boss’s advances. This is a hypothetical case that is increasingly becoming common in workplaces despite the existence of national and international laws prohibiting such advances.

Discuss the Potential Legal Boundaries that Frank’s Actions Crossed

According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 of the United States of America, in workplaces, the unwelcome sexual advances by either the supervisor manager or colleagues’ should not be entertained. According to the bill of right, a sexual advance is said to have taken place where there is a continued unwelcome request for sexual favors, a language that is offensive, and suggestive looks which suggest such an advance. This may occur in a different form, which includes; dressing mode, jokes, gestures, touching, scratching, and playing offensive music, among others. In the case of Mary, Frank is making unwanted advances. He wants sexual favors, but Mary is not interested. This is the violation that occurs in this case.

Formulate the Best Course of Action to Correct this Work Environment

The first thing that Mary should do is to report the matter to the human resource department (assuming that the company has an effective and well informed human resource team). The department should have measures that are aimed at stopping and punishing offenders. The following are some of the mechanism that the human resource department should be having;

A harassment policy: this should be a general policy where harassment in the organization is defined and explained to all staff. Under the policy, the following should be incorporated;

  • Sexual harassment policy.
  • Policy that controls relationships and sexual harassment in the company; such policies include a policy that a supervisor/ employee should not have an intimate relationship in the office.

Employees should be aware of their rights and freedom that the company aims to protect, i.e., internal rights (defined by the management), national, and international rights.

Use Your Knowledge Gained Within This Phase to Discuss Sexual Harassment, Disparate Treatment, or Hostile Work Environment Elements within This Situation

Sexual harassment has been occurring in the work environment, and nothing much seems to be done to avoid the move. The major hindrance of such moves is fear by junior staff who are mainly the victims to report such matters to the relevant authorities. They fear that they will be discriminated against and mistreated if they were to report their own boss or supervisor.

In most cases, sexual harassment occurs in a set situation where the offended needs some legitimate services or assistance from his colleague, who, in turn, takes disparate times to demand sexual favors. When the employee is in need then to be granted the need, the person responsible suggests having sexual intercourse with the man or woman before he gives the service. This is condemned by international laws on human rights.

The working environment should be favorable and appealing to workers. It is the mandate of the human resource department to ensure that they create a good environment for staff. Having a dress code and defining how people should interact with each other is important. There should be internal policies set to regulate relationships in organizations (Orkin & Burger, 81-88).

Explain Whether Frank Abuses His Position of Power, Authority, and Trust as a Supervisor

Frank, as the supervisor, misused his powers and authority; he is using his influence to get sexual favors from his juniors. This is violating the trust that the company has in him. He is the one who is given the power to sign for reimbursement of money, but when undertaking this, he takes advantage of his juniors. Such abuse should be reported and punished. Employees should be empowered to report such incidences.

Discuss the Federal Laws, Agencies, and Protections Pertinent to This Situation

United States federal laws recognize the rights of human beings in workplaces. Under 5 U.S.C. §2302(b)(1)-(b)(12) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives a list of all the rights that an employee should enjoy in the working place. He has the right to fair treatment in the workplace and has the right to report to an industrial court any harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment is also discussed in the bill of rights. It says that there should be no sexual harassment in workplaces. People are protected from oppression and victimization. The law recognizes the existence of trade unions, and their engagement in affairs of an organization is recognized by law (Anon 173 -189).

Works Cited

Anon. “Federal Public Employee Relations: The Lessons to Be Learned from the New York and New Jersey Experiences.” Labor Law Journal 22.3 (1971): 173-185. Business Source Complete. EBSCO. Web.

Orkin, Neal., & Burger, Sarah. “Employee Invention Rights in the Twenty-First Century.” Labor Law Journal 56.1 (2005): 82-88. Business Source Complete. EBSCO. Web.

Educational Institutions And Their Rankings

In the contemporary conditions of globalization, the rankings of educational institutions such as colleges and universities have become particularly significant for their status and reputation. The major ranking systems are usually financially supported by magazines and other media (Altbach 27).

Rankings influence the choices of their possible consumers, such as students and their parents. Consequently, administrators in colleges and universities are concerned with the improvement of the rankings to attract more students (Gnolek 761). Institutions develop strategic plans to succeed in moving up in global ratings (Yung Chi Hou 481). Some use usual problem-solving approaches; the others are applying creative methods. The following case will be used to demonstrate the solutions to the university ranking problem with the use of diverse approaches.

The problem I am going to solve is connected with a business school that longs to enter the top ratings of educational institutions. It is a problem with the school administration. They made an attempt at a creative approach and invited an architect to design a new building for the business school. Although the architect completed the task, the unusual building did not take the school higher in the rankings. Thus, following the model of problem-solving, the following steps can be taken. Since the problem is defined, the next step demands to generate alternative solutions (Whetton and Kim 140).

For the business school, an alternative solution can include the invitation of a known professor specializing in one of the majors taken by the students of the school. It will serve the goal of attracting students interested in profound knowledge. However, it is a short-term goal. Making such cooperation a tradition or inviting experienced teachers and scholars to work can become a long-term alternative. The expected effect will be the increased number of students in a certain direction. The possible side-effects can be both positive and negative. Thus, a positive side-effect can be the expansion of the school and the attraction of international students.

A negative side-effect can be concealed in the fact that the school capacities will not be able to place all students in case their number increases rapidly. It is important to spread the information on the expected courses provided by the invited specialists well before the beginning of the semester. It can be done through advertising on the school website and external resources. A school site is also an excellent place for students’ feedback. They can comment on the lectures and express their wishes for the future. In that case, the school administration will manage to consider students’ desires and plan further development.

Often when standard problem-solving strategies are not efficient, it is advisable to apply creative problem-solving techniques. Creative methods can give unexpected positive results if applied properly. While analytical problem solving is aimed solely at resolving the problem, the creative approach is aimed at generating something innovative (Whetton and Kim 143).

I would like to suggest some creative approaches to the solution of the Ranking case. First of all, it is necessary to develop a new definition of the problem. Thus, the problem to solve is to make a business school a desirable place to study and guarantee its graduate’s competitiveness in the labor market. Multiple approaches to creativity provide a wide choice of techniques that can be applied. First of all, creativity can be achieved through imagination (Whetton and Kim 143).

This approach, as applied to the business school, can be realized in the following way. School administration can attract students to a survey aimed at the definition of the existing problems and students’ desires and expectations. Based on the survey results, an innovative syllabus can be developed. This creative solution is aimed at the perspective. The students will have better results when interested in their education, and school graduates will advertise the school during their work.

Another approach to creative problem solving is an improvement. It can be used to renew and improve the relations of a business school with leading companies where students practice and can work after graduation. The ideas which will be profitable for the company can be suggested. Thus, graduate students can work part-time for the company during their final year for minimal salary and demonstrate their skills and knowledge during this period.

The competitiveness of school graduated in the labor market will also contribute to the rise of school in the ranking. The third possible approach to creative problem solving for the business school is incubation. It can be implemented through the involvement of both staff and students in school governance. They can participate in school work coordination and thus reveal their leadership potential and skills. Such an organization of work increases dedication, stimulates teamwork, and empowers further development.

Since I am familiar with the problem-solving approaches, I try to use them in my life. I consider the combination of rational and creative techniques the most efficient way to deal with any problem. The rational approach is necessary to evaluate the seriousness of the problem and develop the ways of solution. Next, the creative techniques can be applied. They provide alternative solutions that can improve the results.

Once I had a chance to practice the problem-solving approaches. I had to change the flat I lived in. The new apartment was big but not attractive with old furniture and dark walls. The problem was to repair the room. The rational approach would have been to invite professionals to repair the room, buy new furniture and decorations. It is logical but expensive for me. Thus, I decided to try creative problem-solving.

I redefined the problem, and after that, I needed to make the room more attractive. I invited some friends of mine. We examined the apartment, studied some design lessons on the Internet, and made a plan. It can be called the incubation approach since we worked in a team and revealed our hidden talents of designers. I bought some paint, fabric, and a necessary instrument. We painted the walls in bright colors, painted the furniture, and changed upholstery on the sofa. Finally, we put the curtains on the window and some pictures on the walls. I consider it the approach of improvement. We did not create anything new but improved what we had.

On the whole, diverse approaches to problem-solving allow looking at the issue from different angles. The logical approach allows seeing rational solutions, while creative techniques introduce multiple alternative solutions. Often a redefinition of a problem changes its perception and opens new perspectives for the solution. Thus, it is useful to combine rational and creative approaches to provide a comprehensive study of the problem and the choice of the best possible solution.

Works Cited

Altbach, Philip G. “The Globalization of College and University Rankings.” Change. 2012, pp. 26-31.

Gnolek, Shari L. et al. ” Modeling Change and Variation in U.S. News & WorldReport College Rankings: What would it really take to be in the Top 20?” Research in Higher Education, vol. 55, no. 8, 2014, pp. 761-779.

Whetton, David A., and Kim S. Cameron. Developing Management Skills. 9th ed., Pearson Education Inc., 2012.

Yung Chi Hou, Angela, et al. “An Analysis of Mobility in Global Rankings: Making Institutional Strategic Plans and Positioning for Building World-Class Universities.” Higher Education Research and development, vol. 31, no. 6, 2012, pp. 841-857.

Theories In Depression Treatment


The PICO that is being discussed can be phrased as follows: in psychiatric patients with mild depression, what is the effect of psychotherapy on health compared with pharmacotherapy? To respond to it, it is necessary to consider the information available on the topic, as well as the conceptual underpinnings of the project. The present section will critically analyze the theories pertinent to depression treatment, summarize the relevant evidence, define the key concepts of the project, and explain the framework chosen for it.

Critical Analysis of Conceptual and Theoretical Literature

The examination of theoretical literature and evidence is crucial for the development of a study (Moran, 2017), and the present review will demonstrate the way the proposed research is capable of contributing data to a gap in depression research. The proposed project is predominantly connected to the efficacy of treatments, which requires the investigation of pertinent evidence. However, the study of depression is currently incomplete, and its mechanisms are indeed theorized based on available evidence. Consequently, the present section will consider the literature that is reviewing the process of developing depression in search of the information that can support the choice of one of the two studied treatments.

Nowadays, it is relatively well-established that depression is associated with multiple risks and can be the result of the interaction of numerous factors. In particular, biological, psychological, and environmental factors are typically named (Botha & Dozois, 2015; Miller & Hen, 2015; Pulcu & Browning, 2017; Slavich & Irwin, 2014). However, due to the complexity of this phenomenon, as well as the intricacy of the biological mechanisms that are believed to have an impact on depression, the present perspectives on the specific causes of depression are mostly theoretical.

Biomedical theories consider the possible biological causes of depression, which is a viable field of examination. For example, one of the theories that are currently studied suggests that impaired adult neurogenesis may be the cause of the condition; this issue can be rectified with the help of antidepressants. The theory is supported by the studies of animal models and some indirect evidence gained from neuroimaging and postmortem investigation of humans (Miller & Hen, 2015). However, Miller and Hen (2015) admit that more direct evidence is required to support this theory.

Another biomedical theory that is supported by some indirect evidence suggests that the cause of depression may be connected to impairments in the reward system of the brain, which is particularly difficult to study. According to Pulcu and Browning (2017), its response cannot be observed (can only be inferred from behaviors and neuroimaging), and the system itself is very complex and changeable. However, the authors report the results of a series of recent studies that used both possible routes of inferring for better results. The studies produced some consistent evidence that no abnormalities are present in the reward systems of patients with depression, which implies that future research might debunk this theory.

The example of the reward system theory highlights the importance of acknowledging the fact that the causes of depression are still understudied, and new evidence might debunk some of the modern ideas on the topic. Apart from that, this theory exemplifies the fact that while biological factors are theorized to cause depression, they are still not sufficiently evidenced to do so (Deacon, 2013). However, the investigation of biomedical theories does not presuppose the lack of attention to other ones.

Indeed, environmental and cognitive theories emphasize respective environmental and cognitive factors. For example, research is being conducted to determine the possible effects of environmental influences (including phenomena like social rejection) and distorted thinking (for instance, minimization of personal accomplishments) on depression development (Botha & Dozois, 2015). Such theories introduce another dimension into the discussion, allowing researchers to take into account the non-biological factors of depression development.

Moreover, some theories attempt to reconcile the three mentioned dimensions. Slavich and Irwin (2014) study the models that suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between stress and depression. They point out the fact that stress is currently evidenced to be a major risk factor for depression development and describe the theories that suggest the existence of cognitive processes that can result from stress and cause depression. They also state that there is little evidence to imply that there is a biological mediator in the relationship. However, they review several hundreds of studies on the topic and present their theory: according to it, stress affects the immune system, which results in behavioral changes that are symptomatic of depression.

The model is supported by indirect evidence that demonstrates the effects of stress on the immune system and the impact of the response of specific immune components on behavior. More research is needed to make conclusive statements about this theory. However, it expressly demonstrates the way multiple factors (social stresses, cognitive processes related to stress, and biological processes related to immunity) might interact in the process of developing depression.

In summary, the causes of depression are still being studied, which is why they are predominantly connected to theories that might yet be debunked. It is believed that biological, environmental, and psychological causes of depression can exist. Consequently, both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy seem to be justified since they target specific factors that are currently theorized to be the possible causes of depression. Thus, the theoretical literature on the topic supports both approaches, but it cannot prove their effectiveness, which is why the existing evidence should also be reviewed.

Synthesis of Evidence

The evidence on the treatment of mild depression is not very extensive or sufficiently conclusive to make statements about the effectiveness of psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. There is a limited number of recent original research on the topic of the efficacy of antidepressants for depression management, especially when mild depression is concerned. This issue may be connected to the fact that some not very recent evidence indicates that antidepressants have the same effect as placebo in the case of mild depression (Olfson, Blanco, & Marcus, 2016). In other words, it is assumed that pharmacotherapy is not the best choice for the treatment of mild depression.

However, systematic reviews and meta-analyses indicate that more research is required on the matter. In particular, new studies need to rectify the issue of the methodological shortcomings of prior investigations (the discrepancies in depression severity assessment) and offer more data (Cameron, Reid, & MacGillivray, 2014; Mosca, Zhang, Prieto, & Boucher, 2017; Reid, Cameron, & MacGillivray, 2014). Currently, antidepressants are not recommended for mild depression except specific cases (Guidi, Tomba, & Fava, 2016; National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2016), but this decision is based on outdated and inconclusive evidence, which is problematic for guidelines (Terhaar, 2016). This fact suggests that more attention should be paid to the topic.

Psychotherapy has been evidenced to have small to moderate effects on mild depression, but this research is also characterized as inconclusive, particularly because of the need for a unified approach to outcomes measurement (Olfson et al., 2016; Reid et al., 2014). Few recent studies of psychotherapy’s effect on mild depression exist, but a review of the less recent evidence indicates that the quality of the majority of studies was not very high (Cuijpers et al., 2014; Olfson et al., 2016; Reid et al., 2014). Despite this fact, psychotherapy is currently viewed as the appropriate method of treating mild depression (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2016; Reid et al., 2014). Therefore, to inform future guidelines, more recent and high-quality evidence is required for both types of treatment.

Concepts and Definitions

As can be seen from the PICO question, the key concepts that are used by the project include the terms “health,” “depression,” “psychotherapy,” and “pharmacotherapy.” The word “depression” refers to the continuum of depressive disorders that are characterized by specific “changes in effect, cognition, and neurovegetative functions” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013, p. 155). The definition is significant because the diagnosis of depression is the key inclusion criterion for future participants. The recruiting healthcare providers are familiar with the definition, as well as the diagnosing process.

Within this project, “psychotherapy” and “pharmacotherapy” refer to the interventions that are used to treat depression. In particular, “pharmacotherapy” describes the variety of drugs that are employed to treat depression, and “psychotherapy” is the umbrella term for the possible psychological interventions that can be used to treat depression (Reid et al., 2014). The determination of the specific drug or psychological treatment will depend on the needs and preferences of participants.

As for health, the definition of this term is more difficult to establish. Nowadays, health is described as a complex concept that is dynamic and embraces multiple aspects of wellness, including biological, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social ones (Grodner, Escott-Stump, & Dorner, 2015). The holistic perspective on health is very important for nursing, and it ensures the high quality of care for patients. However, for this research, it would be more convenient to adopt a more reductionist perspective to be able to measure health.

Naturally, there are the means of measuring the social and spiritual aspects of health, but within the project that aims to determine the effectiveness of different depression treatments, it is more important to focus on the idea of health as the absence of illness. In other words, the present project will mostly view health as the lack of depressive symptoms that can be measured with the help of well-established tools. In particular, the study chooses the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD) (Sharp, 2015). This perspective will be further justified in the discussion of the conceptual framework of the study.

Conceptual Framework

Frameworks are relatively abstract tools that assist in the organization of the concepts employed by a study for rationalization purposes (Polit & Beck, 2017; Terhaar, Crickman, & Finnell, 2016). The present project suggests using the biomedical model to frame its key concepts and guide the procedures that will be adopted to respond to the study’s PICO question. Here, it should be pointed out that while biomedical theory typically searches for a biological cause of disease and medication-related solution, other causes and treatments are also an option. In fact, according to Deacon (2013), due to the biomedical model, psychological interventions were provided with sufficient evidence to prove their effectiveness. Admittedly, Deacon (2013) states that such studies are not enough for psychological treatments since they do not provide the information that could improve them, but the article still implies that the biomedical model can and has been applied to non-medication interventions. Consequently, the present study suggests using the terminology of the biomedical model to frame its concepts.

From the perspective of the biomedical model, health is the absence of illness, and treatment presupposes the use of specific interventions that target particular causes (typically, biological abnormalities). This framework can easily fit all the core concepts of the present study: in it, depression is the illness that is supposed to be treated with the help of specific interventions (pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy) that target the possible causes of illnesses. The desired outcome is improved health. Within the study (and by the model), health can be measured by the changes in the severity of the illness. This outcome will be achieved with the help of HRSD, which is a well-established and reliable tool for measuring the severity of depression that is not protected by copyright (Sharp, 2015), which facilitates its use and some aspects of the project planning (Burson & Moran, 2017). Thus, the framework organizes the concepts and demonstrates how the PICO of the study can be answered. Since the project is aimed specifically at discovering the effect that the interventions are going to have on depression reduction, a more comprehensive perspective on health would be less focused.

The biomedical model has had an incalculable impact on modern healthcare. It has promoted multiple fields of science that are pertinent to depression, including, for instance, neuroscience, and it is responsible for multiple advances in treating depression (Deacon, 2013). At the same time, it is admittedly reductionist and restrictive, and modern science and healthcare would benefit from the introduction of additional perspectives on health. However, given the utility of the biomedical model in certain cases, it appears logical to apply it to a study that is focused specifically on the impact of a particular treatment on the depression severity in its participants.

The present study acknowledges the fact that the biomedical model is problematic predominantly due to its reductionist nature (Botha & Dozois, 2015; Grodner et al., 2015). The study does not offer to reduce health to the absence of illness in any other context. Instead, it can be suggested that the study adopts the elements of the biomedical model that are suitable for it, developing its framework. For the sake of convenience and focus, the present project employs this tool to frame its concepts and guide the procedures required to answer the research question.


The review of literature and evidence on the topic of depression treatment indicates that there are some notable gaps in them. In particular, depression causes are still being researched, but modern theories support the feasibility of both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy. However, the effects of both treatments are also insufficiently studied when mild depression is concerned. Supposedly, psychotherapy should be appropriate, but this statement is based on low-quality evidence. As for pharmacotherapy, modern literature reviews and meta-analyses suggest that the evidence is not sufficient to make comments on the matter. The present research seeks to address these gaps and proposes the use of a slightly altered biomedical model of health to organize its concepts. This framework will allow the study to focus on a relatively reductionist perspective of health and track specifically the changes in depression severity associated with the two treatment approaches.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders; DSM-5 (5th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Publishing.

Botha, F., & Dozois, D. (2015). The influence of emphasizing psychological causes of depression on public stigma. Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science / Revue Canadienne des Sciences du Comportement, 47(4), 313-320. Web.

Burson, R., & Moran, K. (2017). Creating and developing the project plan. In K. Moran, R. Burson & D. Conrad (Eds.), The Doctor of Nursing Practice scholarly project: A framework for success (pp. 189-222). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Cameron, I., Reid, I., & MacGillivray, S. (2014). Efficacy and tolerability of antidepressants for sub-threshold depression and for mild major depressive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders, 166, 48-58. 

Cuijpers, P., Koole, S., van Dijke, A., Roca, M., Li, J., & Reynolds, C. (2014). Psychotherapy for subclinical depression: Meta-analysis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 205(04), 268-274.

Deacon, B. (2013). The biomedical model of mental disorder: A critical analysis of its validity, utility, and effects on psychotherapy research. Clinical Psychology Review, 33(7), 846-861. 

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Sharp, R. (2015). The Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression. Occupational Medicine, 65(4), 340. 

Slavich, G., & Irwin, M. (2014). From stress to inflammation and major depressive disorder: A social signal transduction theory of depression. Psychological Bulletin, 140(3), 774-815. Web.

Terhaar, M. (2016). Methods for translation. In K. White, S. Dudley-Brown & M. Terhaar (Eds.), Translation of evidence into nursing and health care (pp. 159-182). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

Terhaar, M., Crickman, R., & Finnell, D. (2016). Project planning and the work of translaiton. In K. White, S. Dudley-Brown & M. Terhaar (Eds.), Translation of evidence into nursing and health care (pp. 183-210). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

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