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The differential effects of experienced incivility from internal and external sources on employee well-being. Can personal resources mitigate the impact?

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posted on 2023-08-30, 11:12 authored by Paolo Barretto YaranonPaolo Barretto Yaranon

Workplace mistreatment, defined as interpersonal conduct aimed at causing harm to another employee (Bowling & Beehr, 2006), has attracted the attention of researchers due to its wide range of negative repercussions. Workplace mistreatment includes a spectrum of deviant behaviours, such as incivility, verbal aggression and bullying, that vary in degree and intent. Andersson and Pearson (1999) defined workplace incivility as mildly disrespectful behaviours in which the intent to do harm to another person is uncertain. Extensive research has examined workplace incivility as a social stressor. However, little is known about the differential effects of insider and outsider sources of this deviant behaviour on well-being. This is significant because the impact of incivility may vary depending on the source. Thus, this research examined the differential impact of experienced incivility from people both within and external to the organisation on employee well-being. Furthermore, this research aimed to advance our understanding of how individual differences in personal resources can mitigate the negative relationship between different sources of incivility and well-being. To address these research questions, I conducted two time-lagged studies in two distinct contexts (hospitals, schools) characterised by chronically low job resources and where employees interact with a variety of individuals within and outside the organisation. Study 1 investigated the impact of mistreatment experienced by healthcare employees from other colleagues (insiders) and patients and visitors (outsiders). The findings showed that insider mistreatment predicted affective ill-being a week later, whereas outsider mistreatment did not. Additionally, self-efficacy moderated the relationship between insider mistreatment with affective ill-being. Study 2 replicated Study 1 in a teaching context to determine if the results replicate for another working population. The findings demonstrated that incivility from colleague (insiders) and students’ parents (outsiders) predicted burnout two weeks later. Resilience moderated the relationship between insider incivility and burnout. Altogether, the studies highlighted that mistreatment, such as incivility, negatively impacted well-being. Additionally, the two studies indicated that personal resources may not always mitigate this relationship but can in fact exacerbate them. These results suggested that experiencing incivility was distressing for people high on either self-efficacy or resilience. This could be due to the cognitive effort required to understand why they were treated such and the high expectations of maintaining professionalism at work.

History

Faculty

  • Kemmy Business School

Degree

  • Doctoral

First supervisor

Deirdre O’Shea

Second supervisor

Janine Bosak

Department or School

  • Work and Employment Studies

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