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Workplace incivility and bystanders’ helping intentions
Lunds Universitet.
Malmö University, Faculty of Culture and Society (KS), Department of Urban Studies (US). Malmö University, Centre for Work Life and Evaluation Studies (CTA).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2077-0243
2022 (English)In: International Journal of Conflict Management, ISSN 1044-4068, E-ISSN 1758-8545, Vol. 33, no 2, p. 273-290Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose

Using observational and experimental designs, the purpose of this study was to explore if the power relation between the offender and the victim of incivility and the level of perceived severity of the incivility were associated with bystanders’ intentions to help when witnessing workplace incivility.

Design/methodology/approach

In Study 1, 160 participants completed a questionnaire where they described a recent uncivil incident they had witnessed, and completed measures of perceived severity and measures of their behavioural response as bystanders. In Study 2, 183 participants were randomised to read one of two vignettes (a manager being uncivil towards a subordinate or vice versa), and completed measures of perceived severity and of their motivation to intervene. The authors investigated whether the power relation between perpetrator and victim, and the perceived severity of the uncivil exchange, were associated with prosocial bystander behaviours in Study 1 and with motivation to defend the victim of incivility in Study 2.

Findings

Higher perpetrator power was significantly associated with the incident being perceived as more severe, and higher perpetrator power was directly related to greater tendency to confront, and lower tendency to avoid, the perpetrator. Perpetrator power was indirectly associated with social support according to the perceived severity. A supervisor acting in an uncivil manner was rated as more severe than a subordinate acting in such a way. Perceived severity mediated the relationship between perpetrator power and the witness’s introjected, identified and intrinsic motivation to intervene.

Originality/value

This study extends previous work by investigating how the perpetrator’s power influences both the bystander’s prosocial behaviour and their motivation to defend the victim. Furthermore, previous research has not considered how perceptions of severity might mediate the relationship between power, behaviour and motivation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2022. Vol. 33, no 2, p. 273-290
Keywords [en]
Workplace Incivility, Motivation to Intervene, Power, Severity, Bystander Behaviour, Prosocial Behaviour
National Category
Psychology Work Sciences
Research subject
Arbete och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-46839DOI: 10.1108/ijcma-08-2021-0131ISI: 000720668000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85119018179OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-46839DiVA, id: diva2:1611321
Available from: 2021-11-15 Created: 2021-11-15 Last updated: 2024-02-05Bibliographically approved

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Holm, Kristoffer

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Citation style
  • apa
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