Do you pass it on? An examination of the consequences of perceived cyber incivility
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Do you pass it on? An examination of the consequences of perceived cyber incivility

  • Author(s): McCarthy, Kimberly
  • Pearce, Jone L
  • Morton, John
  • Lyon, Sarah
  • et al.
Abstract

Purpose The emerging literature on computer-mediated communication at the study lacks depth in terms of elucidating the consequences of the effects of incivility on employees. This study aims to compare face-to-face incivility with incivility encountered via e-mail on both task performance and performance evaluation. Design/methodology/approach In two experimental studies, the authors test whether exposure to incivility via e-mail reduces individual task performance beyond that of face-to-face incivility and weather exposure to that incivility results in lower performance evaluations for third-parties. Findings The authors show that being exposed to cyber incivility does decrease performance on a subsequent task. The authors also find that exposure to rudeness, both face-to-face and via e-mail, is contagious and results in lower performance evaluation scores for an uninvolved third party. Originality/value This research comprises an empirically grounded study of incivility in the context of e-mail at study, highlights distinctions between it and face-to-face rudeness and reveals the potential risks that cyber incivility poses for employees.

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