Who Strikes Back? A Daily Investigation of When and Why Incivility Begets Incivility
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Incivility at work-low intensity deviant behaviors with an ambiguous intent to harm-has been on the rise, yielding negative consequences for employees' well-being and companies' bottom-lines. Although examinations of incivility have gained momentum in organizational research, theory and empirical tests involving dynamic, within-person processes associated with this negative interpersonal behavior are limited. Drawing from ego depletion theory, we test how experiencing incivility precipitates instigating incivility toward others at work via reduced self-control. Using an experience sampling design across 2 work weeks, we found that experiencing incivility earlier in the day reduced one's levels of self-control (captured via a performance-based measure of self-control), which in turn resulted in increased instigated incivility later in the day. Moreover, organizational politics-a stable, environmental factor-strengthened the relation between experienced incivility and reduced self-control, whereas construal level-a stable, personal factor-weakened the relation between reduced self-control and instigated incivility. Combined, our results yield multiple theoretical, empirical, and practical implications for the study of incivility at work. (PsycINFO Database Record
author list (cited authors)
Rosen, C. C., Koopman, J., Gabriel, A. S., & Johnson, R. E.