Workplace incivility: Relationship with conflict management styles and impact on perceived job performance, organizational commitment and turnover

by Trudel, Jeannie, Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF LOUISVILLE, 2009, 234 pages; 3381935


This cross-sectional, correlational study (N = 289) explored the relationships among workplace incivility, conflict management styles and their influence on perceived job performance, organizational commitment and turnover intentions. Differences between incivility target and instigator perspectives were also examined. Data were collected through a self-report survey questionnaire consisting of a battery of six scales. Research questions were tested through correlational and hierarchical regression analytic procedures. Findings revealed that incivility and conflict management styles influenced perceived job performance, organizational commitment and turnover intentions to varying degrees. Results remained significant even after controlling for organizational differences and demographic variables.

For the job performance model, the use of an integrating conflict style positively contributed to perceived job performance, while the dominating style negatively contributed to the dependent variable. As for the organizational commitment model, an integrating conflict style and less incivility positively predicted organizational commitment, whereas a dominating conflict style and incivility made negative contributions to the regression equation. The turnover intent model indicated that the dominating conflict style and incivility positively predicted turnover, while the integrative style and lower level of incivility negatively predicted turnover intent. The influence of instigator and target incivility perspectives were similar on the dependent variables, with slight variations only in magnitude. Generally, findings reveal that individuals who used an integrating conflict style had higher perceived job performance, tended to be more civil and less inclined to engage in uncivil behaviors, as well as having a higher level of commitment to the organization and less likely to turnover. In contrast, individuals with a dominating conflict style were more likely to instigate incivility as well as be a target of incivility; scoring lower on organizational commitment along with a higher level of intent to quit. Instigators of incivility reported being targets of incivility, confirming a spiral effect where incivilities are exchanged. Findings support theoretical and empirical research on the deleterious effects of incivility on organizational outcomes. HRD interventions are highlighted as possible means for managing or curbing workplace incivility and improving organizational performance.

Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3381935

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