Cost of rudeness : incivility’s influence on creative and cognitive performance
Positioning workplaces for the future: Sustainability, agility and performance: APS 11th industrial and organisational psychology conference: Melbourne, Australia 2-4 July 2015
Aim: Most violence in the workplace occurs on a subtle level, like interrupting others or speaking with a condescending tone. Such forms of rude and disrespectful behavior are defined as incivility. Incivility has been linked to exhaustion and reduced dedication at work. The present study aims to take previous research a step forward by investigating further outcomes of these relationships for the employee as well as the organization as a whole. The primary objective of the present research is to examine the influence of peer incivility on creativity and cognitive errors. Creativity can be a competitive advantage for the organization, while cognitive errors can result in accidents or injuries at the workplace. We hypothesize that dedication mediates the effect of incivility on creativity and that exhaustion mediates the effect of incivility on cognitive errors. Design: Anonymous survey method was chosen to gather data without social desirability bias. Methods: A sample of 203 employees was obtained from Amazon Mechanical Turk (Mturk). We used bootstrapping analysis to test for mediation and AMOS software to examine overall model fit. Results: Bootstrap analysis for the mediating effect of dedication between exhaustion and cognitive errors revealed that the 95% bias-corrected confidence interval did not include zero (CI 0.06, 0.17). Similarly, the 95% biascorrected confidence interval for the mediating effect of dedication between incivility and creativity also did not include zero (CI -0.12, -0.01). Furthermore, results showed a good model fit (RMSEA = 0.04, CFI = 0.95, TLI = 0.95). Thus, our hypotheses have been confirmed. Conclusion: The present study demonstrates costs of incivility, namely a higher likelihood for cognitive errors and lower creativity. Limitations of this study include the reliance on self-report data and the use of an online tool for data collection. However, previous research has demonstrated that data collected via Mturk shows results indistinguishable from laboratory studies. In sum, the present research shows that incivility impacts organizational safety and employee well-being by enhancing cognitive errors. Further, it reduces creativity, which might negatively impact an organizations’ financial success. Therefore, it is desirable for organizations to limit these costs of incivility by implementing practical interventions.
Roll, L. C., Leiter, M., Siu, O. L., & Li, Y. W. S. (2015, July). Cost of rudeness: Incivility’s influence on creative and cognitive performance. Paper presented at Positioning workplaces for the future: Sustainability, agility and performance: APS 11th industrial and organisational psychology conference, Melbourne, Australia. Abstract retrieved from https://events.psychology.org.au/ei/speakers/2015IOP_Abstracts.pdf