Incivil behaviors at work — put-downs, sarcasm and other condescending comments — tend to have a contagious effect, according to a new study by a management professor at the University of Arkansas and several colleagues.
Incivil behaviors are less serious than openly hostile behavior such as bullying, harassment and threats, but incivil behaviors are also more frequent in the workplace and have a significant effect on employees, the study found.
“And it’s probably costing companies a lot more money,” said Chris Rosen, professor of management in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “Estimates are that workplace incivility has doubled over the past two decades and on average costs companies about $14,000 per employee annually because of loss of production and work time.”
The researchers’ study was published in the June issue of Journal of Applied Psychology.