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Overlooked but not untouched: How rudeness reduces onlookers' performance on routine and creative tasks

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  • Porath, Christine L.
  • Erez, Amir
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    Abstract

    In three experimental studies, we found that witnessing rudeness enacted by an authority figure (Studies 1 and 3) and a peer (Study 2) reduced observers' performance on routine tasks as well as creative tasks. In all three studies we also found that witnessing rudeness decreased citizenship behaviors and increased dysfunctional ideation. Negative affect mediated the relationships between witnessing rudeness and performance. The results of Study 3 show that competition with the victim over scarce resources moderated the relationship between observing rudeness and performance. Witnesses that were in a competition with the victim felt less negative affect in observing his mistreatment and their performance decreased to a lesser extent than observers of rudeness enacted against a non-competitive victim. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 109 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 1 (May)
    Pages: 29-44

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:109:y:2009:i:1:p:29-44

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/obhdp

    Related research

    Keywords: Rudeness Performance Social behavior Creativity Helpfulness Dysfunctional behavior Incivility;

    References

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    1. Kray, Laura J. & Allan Lind, E., 2002. "The injustices of others: Social reports and the integration of others' experiences in organizational justice judgments," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 906-924, September.
    2. Turillo, Carmelo Joseph & Folger, Robert & Lavelle, James J. & Umphress, Elizabeth E. & Gee, Julie O., 2002. "Is virtue its own reward? Self-sacrificial decisions for the sake of fairness," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 839-865, September.
    3. Kahneman, Daniel & Knetsch, Jack L & Thaler, Richard, 1986. "Fairness as a Constraint on Profit Seeking: Entitlements in the Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 728-41, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Baer, Markus & Brown, Graham, 2012. "Blind in one eye: How psychological ownership of ideas affects the types of suggestions people adopt," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 60-71.
    2. Morrow, Paula C. & McElroy, James C. & Scheibe, Kevin P., 2011. "Work unit incivility, job satisfaction, and total quality management among transportation employees," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 1210-1220.
    3. Miner, Andrew G. & Glomb, Theresa M., 2010. "State mood, task performance, and behavior at work: A within-persons approach," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 43-57, May.

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