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Targeted workplace incivility: The roles of belongingness, embarrassment, and power

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

M. Sandy Hershcovis, Babatunde Ogunfowora, Tara Reich, Amy M. Christie

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1075
Early online date7 Feb 2017
Accepted/In press5 Jan 2017
E-pub ahead of print7 Feb 2017
Published6 Sep 2017


King's Authors


Research to date has largely been unclear about whether a single perpetrator is sufficient to instigate the well-documented negative consequences of workplace incivility. In the current research, we examine the extent to which perceived belongingness and embarrassment mediate the relationship between incivility from a single perpetrator and two important outcomes (job insecurity and somatic symptoms), and the extent to which the perpetrator’s power moderates these relationships. Across two studies using different methods, we find that incidents of single perpetrator incivility are associated with target feelings of isolation and embarrassment, which in turn relate to targets’ perceived job insecurity and somatic symptoms (Studies 1 and 2) both the same day and three days later (Study 2). Moreover, we find that perpetrator power moderates the relationship between incivility and embarrassment, such that targets are more embarrassed when the perpetrator is powerful. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

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