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WORKPLACE INCIVILITY: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES

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WORKPLACE INCIVILITY: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CAUSES, CONSEQUENCES AND REMEDIES

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Workplace incivility is well recognized as a significant source of stress in the field of social sciences.  According to Hershcovis (2021),it is also a relatively new topic of discussion in the literature on abuse in the workplace. The occurrence of this phenomenon poses an increasing threat to human resource development specialists, as it results in the creation of a toxic work environment. However, recent research characterizes uncivil behaviour as a distinct form of workplace misconduct, often perceived as abuse in the workplace, but differentiated from aggression (Ferguson, 2018). According to Andersson & Pearson,(2019), it is described as a form of deviant behaviour that is not very intense and has unclear intentions to injure the target. This behaviour goes against the workplace norms of mutual respect. Furthermore, multiple researchers asserts that low intensity behaviour refers to activities that are less intense, lack clear intent, and are often less forceful or aggressive compared to high-intensity behaviours like violence or physical hostility. Based on a study by Andersson & Pearson,(2019), incivility is a very mild type of abuse, yet it can have a major effect on an employee's attitudes and behaviours towards the organization. Typically, incivility is acknowledged as a form of psychological harassment and emotional aggressiveness that undermines the desired workplace standard of mutual respect (Felblinger,2018). The behaviour is characterised by being harsh, discourteous, and impolite, demonstrating a lack of regard for others. Incivility is characterised by rudeness, which has a significant impact on workplace dynamics. This behaviour not only diminishes support among colleagues but also hampers overall performance (Estes & Wang, 2018). While the uncivil acts may seem relatively little, they still result in significant financial losses for organizations, amounting to millions of CFA Franc, due to decreased performance and increased absenteeism (Roscigno, 2019). Organizations face significant challenges in dealing with incivility due to its mild and ambiguous nature, especially when it comes to formulating policies or plans to ban it. Workplace incivility has been linked to greater rates of absenteeism, lower levels of satisfaction, lateness, bad emotions at the end of the workday, increased intention to leave the job, and higher actual turnover rates. The factors that contribute to decreased productivity, adverse effects on citizenship behaviour, performance, reduced commitment, negative impacts on employees' psychological and physical health, counterproductive behaviour, and depression, anxiety, and work-to-family conflict.These adverse consequences have financial ramifications for management. An organization incurs expenses due to workers' distraction and dissatisfaction, sick leave, conflicts among workers, decreased production, and employee turnover (Cortina, 2018). Therefore, a survey will be conducted in order to assess the causes, consequences and remedies for workplace incivility in Cameroon.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Workplace incivility has received significant attention in organizational research, primarily due to its widespread occurrence and detrimental impact on both individuals and organizations. According to Pearson et al. (2020), workplace incivility is commonly perceived as a type of daily inconvenience and a persistent source of stress. Although, psychological violence can arise when an instigator deliberately aims to harm a specific employee or organization (Cortina et  al., 2018). Furthermore, uncivil behaviours typically fall under the category of mistreatment, which includes activities such as insulting, bullying, physically or verbally assaulting others, causing emotional harm, engaging in violent and aggressive interactions, displaying deviant and antisocial behaviours, and behaving in ways that create a sense of injustice (Roscigno, 2019). Recently, there has been an increase in workplace incivility, particularly in the form of gender and racial/ethnic harassment (Miner et al., 2022). Each of these behaviours is hostile, as they involve insulting, degrading, or threatening actions that breach the principles of social respect. Amidst the presence of incivility in workplace, the employees typically exhibit a disregard for their colleagues by engaging in uncivil behaviours. They also actively avoid their given jobs, fail to demonstrate good citizenship behaviour, and lack dedication to the company. In addition, workers' creativity is hindered when they experience disrespect in the workplace, leading to a significant number of them being disenchanted and either taking frequent absences or leaving their jobs permanently (Sliter, 2022). Nevertheless, a small number of academics contend that uncivil behaviours are not deliberate or malevolent. Beyond that, various forms of uncivil behaviours in the workplace result in the establishment of an inhospitable work environment characterized by paranoia, cliques, stress, and rudeness (Vicker, 2018). The existence of uncivil actions has been identified as a concern in various industries, such as law enforcement, healthcare, and education, both in the public and private sectors across different regions. Thus, it is in the light of these that the study seeks to assess the causes, consequences and remedies for workplace incivility in Cameroon.

1.3  Objectives of the Study

The main purpose of this study is to assess the causes, consequences and remedies for workplace incivility in Cameroon. Specifically, the study will;

Investigate the root causes of workplace incivility in Cameroon

Investigate the consequences of workplace incivility on employees well-being in Cameroon.

Proffer effective strategies for preventing and managing workplace incivility in Cameroonian organizations

1.4 Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study:

What are the root causes of workplace incivility in Cameroon?

What are the consequences of workplace incivility on employees' well-being in Cameroon?

What are effective strategies for preventing and managing workplace incivility in Cameroonian organizations?

1.5  Research Hypotheses

H0:  There is no significant relationship between cultural diversity and workplace incivility in Cameroon.

Ha: There is no significant relationship between cultural diversity and workplace incivility in Cameroon.

1.6  Significance of the Study

The findings will enable employees to identify and confront disrespectful conduct in their work environment, which may decrease the likelihood of harassment and enhance overall mental health. Furthermore, subsequent researchers will use it as a literature review. This means that other students who may decide to conduct studies in this area will have the opportunity to use this study as available literature that can be subjected to critical review. Invariably, the result of the study contributes immensely to the body of academic knowledge with regard to the causes, consequences and remedies for workplace incivility in Cameroon.

1.7 Scope of the study

The scope of this study is boarded on the causes, consequences and remedies for workplace incivility in Cameroon. Empirically, the study will investigate the root causes of workplace incivility in Cameroon, investigate the consequences of workplace incivility on employees well-being in Cameroon and proffer effective strategies for preventing and managing workplace incivility in Cameroonian organizations

Geographically, the study will be delimited to employees in some selected financial institution in Douala, Cameroon.

1.8 Limitation of the study

In the course of carrying out this study, the researcher experienced some constraints, which included time constraints, financial constraints, language barriers, and the attitude of the respondents. In addition, there was the element of researcher bias. Here, the researcher possessed some biases that may have been reflected in the way the data was collected, the type of people interviewed or sampled, and how the data gathered was interpreted thereafter. The potential for all this to influence the findings and conclusions could not be downplayed. More so, the findings of this study are limited to the sample population in the study area, hence they may not be suitable for use in comparison to other schools, local governments, states, and other countries in the world.

 1.9 Definition of Terms

Workplace Incivility: refers to the deliberate and consistent exhibition of rudeness and discourtesy, demonstrating a disregard for the well-being and feelings of others  (Cortina et al., 2021) .


This material content is developed to serve as a GUIDE for students to conduct academic research



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