Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers

Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers

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1.1     Background to the Study

In order for teachers to work efficiently within the school organizational environment, their morale and motivation must be sufficiently high. Bureaucratic precautions should be taken in order to maximize the motivation of individuals, and administrators and other employees should set appropriate examples for each other. Workplace incivility is a growing challenge for all types of organizations (Porath & Pearson, 2010). In recognition of this mounting problem, researchers have investigated its prevalence in a broad range of organizational contexts, yet surprisingly little in K-12 schools.

The lack of scholarly inquiry in this area is troubling considering the almost overwhelming difficulties facing the teaching profession (Fox & Stallworth, 2010). For example, in our current lean economic times, schools are receiving less financial support, yet calls for accountability remain (Fox & Stallworth, 2010). Teachers continue to be under mounting pressure from a variety of sources to increase student learning performance (e.g., through federal and state legislative mandates, demanding parents, society in general), with little obvious relief in sight (Steffgen & Ewen, 2007).


Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers

Educational policy makers and superintendents, and in-school instructional and administrative (e.g., principal) leaders need to be aware that these stressful contingencies contribute to a school workplace context that may be less than ideal to work, setting the stage for increasing the likelihood of teachers’ uncivil behaviors (Waggoner, 2003).

Andersson and Pearson (1999) define workplace incivility as “low intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect. Uncivil behaviors are characteristically rude, discourteous, displaying a lack of respect for others” (p. 457). Incivility is not necessarily objective, as it is a reflection of an individual’s interpretation about how an action made them feel; in other words, it is defined in the eyes of the beholder (Porath & Pearson, 2010).

Scholars have cited several antecedents to uncivil behavior such as lack of establishing positive relationships in the organization (i.e., not learning to fit in with coworkers), negative affect (e.g., anxiety, frustration, anger), and demographic dissimilarity (e.g., age, gender) as some of the likely predictors of uncivil behavior in the workplace (Baron & Neuman, 1996; Chen & Eastman, 1997; Pearson, Andersson, & Porath, 2000). Numerous labels have been assigned to uncivil behaviors such as condescending, sarcastic, inconsiderate, rude, and insulting, among others (Andersson & Pearson, 1999).

 Increases in workplace incivility have also been associated with organizational outcomes like reduced organizational commitment and job satisfaction, and increased turnover intentions (Laschinger, Leiter, Day, & Gilin, 2009). Workplace incivility can dampen employee productivity and become an economic drain (Porath & Pearson, 2010), and even ruin an organization’s reputation (Fox & Stallworth, 2010; Hutton & Gates, 2008).

Because few studies have examined workplace incivility and its possible association with organizational outcomes in the context of school, the aim of this research was to investigate the frequency of uncivil behavior among teachers and the influence of workplace incivility on teachers’ commitment to the school and turnover intentions. Educational leaders could use new information generated by this research to find ways to reduce the likelihood of uncivil behavior, increase teacher commitment, and decrease turnover intent among teachers at our schools.

The technology that has developed in recent years and changes seen in working environments have also affected communication and interaction between individuals, with a move away from accepted rules in working ethics, cultural and social norms in individuals and instances of incivility seen to increase in line with communication deficiencies (Delen, 2010). The rules, norms, and principles required by social relations between people have always been and always will be. In his study, Hartman (1996) explained civility as ways or norms that differ from culture to culture that regulate social relationships between people. In this context, incivility is a low-level violation of the rules in interpersonal relations. In addition, unkindness causes empathy erosion (Kumral, 2017).

Uncivil behaviors can be encountered both within general society and also in business life. Andersson and Pearson (1999) defined the concept of incivility in the workplace as “low- intensity deviant behavior that is unclear in intention but harms the target person” (p. 457), which is caused by the violation of respect rules in the workplace. Workplace incivility was first expressed among anti-productive behaviors in working life. Some researchers associate workplace incivility with concepts such as bullying, psychological terror, violence, aggression, conflict, harassment, and also mobbing in the related literature (Toker Gökçe, 2010).

There are specific characteristics that differentiate incivility from other perceivable behaviors encountered in work environments. First, there is a violation of the norm in incivility. Organizations, institutions, and also social structures each have certain norms. Any behavior deemed uncivil must somehow violate these rules. There are three other important features of incivility, which are frequency, density, and uncertainty. Although rare in general, serious incidents can occur when incivility becomes more frequent (Kumral, 2017).

Uncivil behaviors are mostly low-intensity behaviors that are passive, non-physical, and indirect. However, the low density does not mean that they are insignificant, as they may result in other negative behaviors and can trigger anxiety (Akcakavaklı, 2019). Pearson and Porath (2005) stated in their study on Fortune 1000 businesses that incivility can harm the organizational culture. In a study by Kumral (2017), it was reported that managers spend 7 weeks a year resolving conflicts based on some form of incivility. Another feature of incivility is that its intention is ambiguous. The intention of the harm done to the target person is often unclear. This uncertainty is an important factor that distinguishes incivility from other deviant behaviors encountered within organizations for which the purpose of harm is more obvious, such as aggression, violence, threat, or physical attack (Pearson et al., 2000).

Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers


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1.2     Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that emotional states such as unhappiness, anger, and anxiety increase in the workplaces in line with the changing needs and demands of managers and employees. (Altınkurt & Karaköse, 2009; Karaköse, 2008a; 2008b). Employees and managers exhibit different attitudes and behaviors towards the uncivil behavior they experience. Incivility experienced in the workplaces negatively affects the loyalty of individuals to their job and to their institution, with potential negative effects including quitting their job, health problems, and even negative effects realized within their family lives.

The changes seen in modern-day business life have resulted in institutions focusing more on the human factor. This has been due to an understanding that fighting against the increasing competition, and catching up with change and innovation is only possible through the effective use of human resources. Employees at work and teachers at schools, of course, require high levels of motivation in order to work efficiently. Highly motivated employees value their jobs and institutions, undertake their work with devotion, and act in line with the goals and aspirations of the organization.

Because of its clear, direct impact on employee performance, organizations care about the concept of motivation, and allocate generally increasing financial resources to this issue. Within the framework of these cases, the researchers of the current study aimed to examined Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers. This study aimed to examined Workplace Incivility and Employees Performance among Secondary School Teachers.

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