Main content

A Construct Analysis of Civility in the Workplace

Show full item record

Title: A Construct Analysis of Civility in the Workplace
Author: Patterson, Ashlyn Margaret
Department: Department of Psychology
Program: Psychology
Advisor: Gonzalez Morales, M. Gloria
Abstract: Interpersonal relationships in the workplace are often described as an important part of an employee’s experience at work (Chiaburu & Harrison, 2008; McNeese-Smith, 1999). Coworkers can be sources of support, validation, and respect or they can be rude, stressful, and frustrating. On the negative side, research on workplace incivility has grown over the last 15 years and suggests rude behaviour at work is harmful to employees and the organization. On the positive side, research on workplace civility is sparse. The main purpose for the dissertation is to explore what workplace civility is and how is it similar and/or different from other similar constructs. Given that the study of workplace civility arose out of research on workplace incivility, is it important to understand the relationship between these two constructs. Chapter 1 of the dissertation reviewed current research in both areas highlighting important gaps in the workplace civility literature. In Chapter 2, I describe a study in which I used a qualitative approach to better understand the similarities and differences between civil and uncivil behaviours. Findings suggest civil behaviours are positive active displays of respect while uncivil behaviours are negative active displays of rudeness. Thus, civility is not simply a lack of incivility. The goal of Chapter 3 was to extend the findings of Chapter 2 and test the empirical relationships between incivility and civility, using a measure of civility norms. Chapter 3 also empirically compared civility to organizational citizenship behaviours (OCB) and respect; thus, starting to form the nomological network. Findings support the distinction between incivility, civility, OCBs, and respect. In order to expand the nomological network further, in Chapter 4 I identify constructs within the network (i.e., perceived coworker support, OCB, respect, prosocial organizational behaviour, and interpersonal justice) and proposes a framework to better understand the theoretical and methodological similarities and differences between constructs. Lastly, Chapter 5 includes an empirical exploration of the relationships between civility and the full nomological network using a two-wave panel study. I compared the antecedents of enacted civility, incivility, OCBs, and prosocial organizational behaviours and found different antecedents were more important for different constructs. Next, I compared the relative influence of experienced civility, incivility, civility norms, respect, perceived coworker support, and interpersonal justice on predicting organizational outcomes to determine when civility is a more or less important predictor. Findings suggest civility is a unique construct, however, it is most similar to the constructs of perceived coworker support and respect. Implications for theory, practice, and future research are discussed.
Date: 2016-11
Terms of Use: All items in the Atrium are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.

Files in this item

Files Size Format View Description
Patterson_Ashlyn_201612_PhD.pdf 13.20Mb PDF View/Open Dissertation document

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record