Organization Management Journal


This qualitative study investigated relational schemas of workplace incivility to develop an understanding of incivility from the employee perspective, refine theoretical comprehension of the incivility construct, and begin collecting data to support development of applied interventions. Two hundred and five currently employed respondents answered open-ended survey questions about schematic features of incivility and normative questions about how it should be addressed at work. Responses were analyzed with phenomenological methodology. Workplace incivility was defined in relational schemas similarly to current scholarly conceptualization, but respondents’ examples of incivility included more severe mistreatment as well. Perpetrators, targets, bystanders, and interveners were identified as the primary roles engaged with incivility. Respondents called for active prevention and intervention against incivility, directed by organizational leadership. Rich segments of illustrative qualitative data are presented throughout the article. Researchers should note results indicating construct proliferation in workplace mistreatment literature. Practitioners should consider the roles of leaders and bystanders in addressing workplace incivility.