ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (1): 150-159.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00150

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A Dynamic Model of Workplace Incivility Based on Cognitive and Emotional Reaction

YAN Yu;WU Yiyuan;GUO Yongyu   

  1. (1 Department of Psychology, School of Philosophy, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China) (2 School of Psychology, Central China Normal University, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2013-04-26 Online:2014-01-15 Published:2014-01-15
  • Contact: YAN Yu


There is no shortage of uncivil behavior in the workplace. Workplace incivility occurs frequently and has a lasting negative impact on workers and the organization. An unfortunate aspect of incivility is that it can occur at a low relative frequency and is particularly difficult to extinguish. We summarize the existing research and developed a model of workplace incivility to provide a framework for furthering theoretical and methodological developments. To build the model we first clarified the conceptual boundaries incivility and other deviant behaviors emitted in the workplace. Second, the model of workplace incivility was integrated and grounded in the theories of: cognitive appraisal of emotion, affect events, and emotional reactions. Finally, our work constructs a more integrated model of workplace incivility, in which a cognitive and emotional reaction functions as a mediating variables while personality and organizational factors serve as moderating variables. Our results advance workplace mistreatment theory and research while providing practical strategies for organizations to employ in order to maintain a civil working environment. We conclude that future studies should make use of longitudinal experimental designs to determine the causal trend among variables while attending to culture differences.

Key words: workplace incivility, cognitive appraisal theory of emotion, affect events theory, emotional reaction model, cognition, emotion