Workplace Incivility and Bystanders’ Helping Intentions

Project Details


Using both observational and experimental designs, we explored predictors of bystanders’ intentions to help when witnessing workplace incivility. We investigated whether the power relation between perpetrator and victim, and the perceived severity of the uncivil exchange, were associated with prosocial bystander behaviours in a field study (Study 1) and with motivation to defend the victim of incivility in an experimental study (Study 2). In Study 1, 160 participants completed a questionnaire where they described a recent uncivil incident they had witnessed, and they 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 they completed measures of perceived severity and of their motivation to intervene. In the field study, higher perpetrator power was significantly associated with the incident being perceived as more severe, and higher perpetrator power was directly related to a greater tendency to confront, and lower tendency to avoid, the perpetrator. Perpetrator power was indirectly associated with social support according to the perceived severity. In Study 2, 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 the perpetrator’s power position and the witness’s introjected, identified, and intrinsic motivation to intervene.

Layman's description

Syftet är att undersöka faktorer som är associerade med hur medarbetare uppfattar och beter sig när de observerar ohövlighet på arbetsplatsen.
Effective start/end date2018/12/032021/05/28