"Submitted on 06 September 2012 for the degree of Doctor of Psychology (Organisational Psychology)"
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Introduction -- 2. Literature review on incivility -- 3. Extending the literature to consider within-person outcomes of incivility -- 4. Investigating health behaviours as possible outcomes of incivility -- 5. Examining how individuals respond to incivility across incidents and the factors that influence choice of response -- 6. Discussion and conclusion -- Full reference list -- Appendices.
"This thesis investigates the construct of workplace incivility, a form of interpersonal mistreatment that is a prevalent phenomenon in today's organisations (Andersson & Pearson, 1999). High incidence rates, in conjunction with detrimental outcomes to both individuals and organisations and the possibility that incivility may spiral into more extreme and violent behaviour, underline the need for a better understanding of this phenomenon. The first aim of this thesis was to extend the current between-person understanding of incivility by investigating within-person processes. The second aim was to consider the impact of incivility on health behaviours, an important research area because the known association between stressors (such as incivility) and employee ill health is likely to be mediated in part by unhealthy behaviours. The third aim of this thesis was to examine within-person differences in individuals' immediate behavioural and cognitive responses to incivility at work, and to identify factors that determine within-person differences in these responses. This is a thesis by publication. I present three papers (all under review with leading international journals), which report on the results of a diary study of 130 participants. The first paper demonstrated that daily experiences of incivility were associated with daily fluctuations in stress. The second paper reports on how incivility was significantly related to some health behaviours: fewer relaxation activities and higher consumption of unhealthy foods at the between-person level and at the within-person level. However, the latter relationships were only significant for those with low core self-evaluation. The third paper reports the analysis of immediate responses to incivility, where perceived severity of an uncivil incident significantly predicted whether or not a target engaged in negative behaviour toward the instigator, negative behaviour toward others, support seeking, and forgiveness, and the relative hierarchical status of the instigator predicted ignore/avoid responses. To examine the role of stable individual differences in accounting for response processes, trait-based neuroticism was considered as a direct predictor of response types and as a moderator of the within-person relationships between the severity of daily incivility and daily response types. Significant between-person differences were found for both direct and moderation relationships. The thesis concludes with a summary chapter discussing the implications of these results with suggestions for future research." -- Abstract.