ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (12): 1934-1945.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.01934

• Regular Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The spillover and crossover effect of workplace incivility: The negative role beyond work boundary

YAN Yu; WANG Yiming   

  1. (Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China)
  • Received:2016-05-27 Online:2016-12-15 Published:2016-12-15
  • Contact: YAN Yu, E-mail:


Existing researches usually investigate the effect of workplace incivility on targets’ work-related outcomes within workplace. Actually recent researches revealed that the negative effects of workplace incivility have a ripple effect and are far beyond workplace boundary. That is, workplace incivility can spillover from work domain into home domain, and can have a similar bad effect on those who are closed to targets. This paper discussed the spillover and the crossover effect of workplace incivility, including concept, theory and mechanism. Specifically, we summarized the internal mechanisms of the spillover and crossover effect. Meanwhile, we think the spillover effect of workplace incivility due to the chronic nature of it and its accompanying negative affect. Stress transmission plays an important role in the relationship between negative affect/behavior and marital dissatisfaction. Additionally, empathy moderate the direct crossover effect and social undermining mediate the indirect crossover effect. Finally, we suggest future research using longitudinal measures, multiple data and sources of workplace incivility; choosing other outcome variables and examining these two effect in other relationships; exploring the mechanisms and boundary conditions; and investigating the integral spillover-crossover/crossover-spillover effect.

Key words: workplace incivility, spillover, crossover, stress transmission, empathy, social undermining