Incivility and Employee Performance, Citizenship, and Counterproductive Behaviors: Implications of the Social Context

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Abstract

Drawing from the transactional model of stress, we examined how the social context moderates employees’ behavioral responses to workplace incivility. On the basis of data from 384 employees nested in 41 groups, we observed a 3-way, cross-level interaction between individually experienced incivility, group incivility differentiation, and group silence predicting supervisor-rated employee performance, citizenship, and counterproductive behaviors. Specifically, employees’ own incivility experiences predicted lower performance and citizenship behavior and higher counterproductive behavior in groups where members received highly different incivility treatment and kept silent. These findings indicate that contextual characteristics of one’s workgroup have an impact on how employees appraise and respond to workplace incivility.

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