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Observing workplace incivility

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  • Reich, Tara C.
  • Hershcovis, M. Sandy

Abstract

Abstract Interpersonal mistreatment at work often occurs in the presence of others; however, these “others” are rarely examined in empirical research despite their importance to the context of the negative interaction. We conducted 2 experiments to examine how witnessing incivility affects observer reactions toward instigators and targets. In Study 1, participants (N = 60) worked virtually with an ostensible instigator and target. In Study 2, participants (N = 48) worked in vivo with confederates (hired actors) on a job task. Across these 2 studies, we found that observers of incivility tend to punish instigators while their reactions to targets were generally unaffected. Further, the effect of witnessing incivility was mediated by observers’ negative emotional reaction toward the instigator.

Suggested Citation

  • Reich, Tara C. & Hershcovis, M. Sandy, 2015. "Observing workplace incivility," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57943, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:57943
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/57943/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Rupp, Deborah E. & Bell, Chris M., 2010. "Extending the Deontic Model of Justice: Moral Self-Regulation in Third-Party Responses to Injustice," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(01), pages 89-106, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:gam:jsusta:v:10:y:2018:i:8:p:2610-:d:159923 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:jobhdp:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:45-57 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Incivility; Observers; Third-parties; Organizational Justice; Social Undermining; Workplace aggression; Deontic justice; Affective Events Theory;

    JEL classification:

    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J50 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - General

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