Dr Majeed Khader, MS Tan Mingyi Eunice1, MS Charmaine Lee Siew Ling1
1Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore, Singapore
Lessons from a Singapore Campus Sexual Harassment Case: Escalation of Incidents and Implications for Organisational Risk Management Risk management is key to complement the day-to-day operations in any organisation in order to ensure the sustainability of the operations and strategic relevance of the organisation. Aside from the immediate impact to the organisation post-incident, at times, the larger risk and subsequent damage to the organisation lies in the potential of an incident to escalate past the triggering event. As such, it becomes key for organisations to accurately assess the potential of an event from escalating and posing further risks to the organisation. This presentation centres on a recent case of sexual harassment of a local university student that had gained both local and international media attention. It considers the risks faced by, and negative impact on, the institution due to the escalation of the incident (e.g., negative publicity following from the perceived failure of the institution in meeting the needs of stakeholders). What were the organisational ‘blind spots’ that had warranted more attention and which may have prevented or minimised the incident’s escalation? How can organisational structures and response approaches be enhanced to better manage risks in similar contexts? The presentation seeks to examine and address these. The research adopts a case study approach in combination with a review of relevant academic literature and organisational best practices on risk management, as well as the gathering and analysis of case-relevant qualitative data. Following from an analysis of the case incident, implications for organisations in assessing and mitigating the risk of incident escalation will be highlighted and discussed from a systems perspective (e.g., signal detection, cultural factors).
Dr. Majeed Khader is a forensic psychologist in Singapore and the Director of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre. He is the Chief Psychologist of the Ministry of Home Affairs and also the Asian Director of the US based Society of Police and Criminal Psychology. A graduate from the National University of Singapore, Majeed also holds a Masters degree (with Distinction) in Forensic Psychology from Leicester University (U.K) and a PhD in Psychology, (specialising in crisis and personality) from Aberdeen University, Scotland. The first formally trained forensic psychologist in Singapore, Majeed has overseen the development of psychological services in the areas of stress, counselling, resilience, personnel selection, leadership development, crisis negotiations, crime profiling, and crisis psychology in law enforcement settings. For his work in the psychology of terrorism, he was awarded two National Day Public Administration Medals (in 2006 and 2014). Dr Majeed is Associate Professor (Adjunct) and teaches forensic and criminal psychology at the Nanyang Technological University. He is a Registered Psychologist with the Singapore Psychological Society, and a member of the British Psychological Society, American Psychological Association and Australian Psychological Society. Ms. Eunice Tan is a Principal Psychologist and Senior Assistant Director of the Operations and Leadership Psychology Branch, Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre (HTBSC), Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. She holds a Masters degree (with distinction) in Investigative and Forensic Psychology from the University of Liverpool (United Kingdom) and is a member of the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology (SPCP), USA. Eunice has twice served as Head Scientific Committee in the Asian Conference of Criminal and Operations Psychology (ACCOP). Her research interests include talent assessment and development, crisis leadership, organisational deviance, and more recently, organisational health, change management and employee well- being. Ms. Charmaine Lee graduated from the National University of Singapore with a Bachelor of Social Sciences (Major in Psychology), highest distinction. Her thesis research was presented at the Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies Annual Convention and National Psychology Graduate Student Conference in 2017, and published in Psychiatry Research in 2019. She has since worked as a psychologist with the Operations and Leadership Psychology Branch of the Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre, where she has undertaken research in the areas of organisational deviance, wellbeing and crisis leadership. Beyond work, she has been and continues to be an active volunteer with the Victim Care Cadre of the Police Psychological Services Department.