Rules versus relationships and campus sexual misconduct

Document Type


Publication Date



Political Science

Publication Title

International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior


Purpose: How do university compliance administrators implement the rules prohibiting campus sexual misconduct? Title IX Coordinators’ authority is legal–rational and derives from the power to enforce Title IX and university rules. The paper aims to discuss this issue. Design/methodology/approach: Analyzing narratives collected from administrators at 22 large institutions of higher education, this paper distinguishes rules from relationship-oriented Coordinators and develops an understanding of how and why Title IX Coordinators utilize relational authority as they implement Title IX. Findings: The key finding is that relational administrators exhibit less institutional authority than their rules-based counterparts and focus on their relationships with complainants and respondents over university leaders and administrators. Originality/value: While other researchers have focused on rules, this research demonstrates how Title IX Coordinators draw heavily on relational strategies.

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