Date of Award
Elizabeth Goryunova PhD, MBA
workplace incivility, higher education, rural, urban, Northeast
Workplace Incivility (WI) is a construct similar to sexual harassment or bullying - it is unwanted behavior and can cause negative emotions for those who experience it. However, it lacks a clear definition or legal repercussions that have been established for sexual harassment and bullying. Thus, incivility is able to thrive in the workplace with little intervention and can create adverse consequences for employees and the organization. Several studies demonstrate that up to 96% of employees have experienced WI (Porath & Pearson, 2010, p.64). Employees who experience WI reduce their work effort and decrease productivity by “venting” to co-workers (Cortina and Magley, 2009, p. 286). This results in more work for mangers and HR personnel who need to mediate the situation; the organization may experience an overall reduction in morale and productivity, leading to lost revenue. The goal of this study is to explore the incidences of WI in higher education (HE), which relies heavily on personnel for success. Data from this study indicate that WI does exist among FT staff in HE, with those working in a rural setting experiencing greater frequencies than those in an urban setting. Additionally, WI exists with greater frequency among those with union coverage vs. those without. These results, combined with data around types of incivility experienced, emotions felt by employees and hours spent dealing with the aftermath may enlighten managers and HR personnel to the value of proactively addressing Workplace Incivility.
St. Pierre, Tracy, "The Incidence and Impact of Workplace Incivility: A Quantitative Study Comparing Public University Staff Member Experiences in the Northeast" (2019). Thinking Matters Symposium. 214.