The impact of workplace incivility on the satisfaction of basic needs: the role of past experience

Machin, M. A. and Jeffries, C. H. (2013) The impact of workplace incivility on the satisfaction of basic needs: the role of past experience. In: 48th Australian Psychological Society Annual Conference (APS 2013): Psychology for a Healthy Nation, 8-12 Oct 2013, Cairns, Australia.


Workplace incivility (WI) has a damaging effect on employees in spite of the triggers consisting of relatively minor words, gestures, or practices (Spreitzer, Porath & Gibson, 2012). It was proposed that the perceived civility climate would explain considerable variance in workplace incivility which would also contribute significantly to the prediction of three dimensions of basic need satisfaction (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). In order to test whether past experience (i.e. whether the employee
reported having previously left a job as a result of incivility) influenced how workplace incivility predicted the measures of basic need satisfaction, a multi-group structural equation model was specified. Using data from 302 respondents to an online survey, the initial model focused on the mediated effects of WI where the antecedents of WI (dimensions of perceived civility climate) directly predicted WI, while WI directly predicted Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness. A revised model was specified that included direct links from both Management Commitment to Civility and Tolerance of Incivility to Autonomy, as well as direct links from Coworker Support and Organisational Risk Management to Relatedness. This model was a good fit with χ2 = 16.733 (df = 16), p = .403, AGFI = .939, TLI = .997 and RMSEA = .012 (90%CI .000 to .056 with pclose = .911). When further constraints were imposed to test whether the path coefficients (structural weights) were identical across the two subgroups, the χ2 change was
significant indicating that imposing this set of constraints was not justified (Δχ2 = 28.562 (df = 11), p = .003). Therefore, the impact of WI on basic need satisfaction is somewhat different for those who have left a job due to incivility. While WI has a negative
relationship with Autonomy across both groups and no relationship with Competence across both groups, WI has a negative relationship with Relatedness only for those who
have previously left a job due to incivility. Where experience of workplace incivility leads to someone leaving their job, it appears that their need for relatedness becomes closely tied to future experiences of incivility with a diminished contribution from the support of
their coworkers.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy. Paper no. 83.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2015 22:55
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2017 05:54
Fields of Research : 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170107 Industrial and Organisational Psychology
20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2001 Communication and Media Studies > 200105 Organisational, Interpersonal and Intercultural Communication
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170110 Psychological Methodology, Design and Analysis
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 94 Law, Politics and Community Services > 9405 Work and Institutional Development > 940599 Work and Institutional Development not elsewhere classified

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