On the nature, consequences and remedies of workplace incivility: No time for "nice"? Think again

Christine M. Pearson, Christine L. Porath

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

420 Scopus citations


Incivility, or employees' lack of regard for one another, is costly to organizations in subtle and pervasive ways. Although uncivil behaviors occur commonly, many organizations fail to recognize them, few understand their harmful effects, and most managers and executives are ill-equipped to deal with them. Over the past eight years, as we have learned about this phenomenon through interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, experiments, and executive forums with more than 2,400 people across the U.S. and Canada, we have found that incivility causes its targets, witnesses, and additional stakeholders to act in ways that erode organizational values and deplete organizational resources. Because of their experiences of workplace incivility, employees decrease work effort, time on the job, productivity, and performance. Where incivility is not curtailed, job satisfaction and organizational loyalty diminish as well. Some employees leave their jobs solely because of the impact of this subtle form of deviance. Most of these consequences occur without organizational awareness. In addition to detailing the nature of incivility and its consequences, we provide keys to recognizing and dealing with habitual instigators, and remedies that are being used effectively by organizations to curtail and correct employee-to-employee incivility.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalAcademy of Management Executive
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


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