Incivility: The Moderating Effect of Hierarchical Status. Does a Manager Inflict More Damage?

Yariv Itzkovich


Incivility is an expression of disregard toward others in a social interaction. The current study predicts that incivility will inflict more damage when perpetrated by higher status holders, for the intention to leave the organization, the possibility that the psychological contract will be violated and concerning organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) that are expected to diminish.333 workers were sampled through a web based survey. Results showed that incivility can predict psychological contract violation and withdrawal intention. In addition, results showed that perceived incivility (i.e the perceived frequency with which incivility is experienced by its targets), was higher among those uncivil acts perpetrated by their managers compared to perceived incivility if perpetrated by a peer. Moreover, results suggested that while for some outcomes (i.e. OCB-O, withdrawal intentions, and psychological contract violation) managers inflict more damage as predicted, for OCB-I, the impact was greater when peers acted in an uncivil manner. Results as well as practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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