Matthew Valle, professor of management, has published the results of a study of incivility aggression in the workplace.
Professor of Management Matt Valle and co-authors Suzanne Zivnuska (California State University Chico), Dawn Carlson (Baylor University), John Carlson (Baylor University), Ken Harris (Indiana University Southeast) and Ranida Harris (Indiana University Southeast) have published an article in Information Processing & Management, one of the premier journals in information and computational sciences.
The research looked at the work and non-work effects of information and communications technology (ICT) mediated incivility aggression, or incivility enacted through communications technology in the workplace. The title of the article is “Information and communication technology incivility aggression in the workplace: Implications for work and family.”
Incivility can be defined as a type of psychological harassment and emotional aggression that violates workplace ideals of mutual respect. While such events may occur solely in person, they may also be initiated and conducted in part or in whole via electronic mail, social media, text messaging, and other ICT-enabled media. In fact, there are reasons to think that such behavior may be more common in ICT.
The research found that engaging in ICT incivility aggression negatively impacts mood, as evidenced by a negative relationship with positive affect and a positive relationship to psychological distress. Furthermore, in the work domain, the relationship between ICT incivility aggression and job satisfaction was mediated by positive mood, but not by psychological distress. In the family domain, the relationship between incivility and family satisfaction was mediated by psychological distress, but not by mood. These mixed mediation findings may suggest that particular moods are somewhat contextual and made more salient at work versus with family.
The research uniquely reveals that deviant behavior in the form of ICT-based incivility is seemingly counterproductive. It does not lead to the kinds of positive affective outcomes that the aggressor may desire. Although it may be easier to communicate inappropriately over email and other computer-mediated channels than it is in person, that does not mean that it makes sense to do so. Moreover, ICT-based deviance may create an electronic trail that makes policy-breaking behavior easier to uncover and punish. Employees and managers who routinely communicate in deviant ways – regardless of the channel they may use to do so – will reap what they sow in terms of their emotional well-being and satisfaction. Therefore, it is incumbent on managers and employees alike to hold themselves to a high standard of professional, respectful workplace communication regardless of circumstance.
Information Processing & Management is published by Elsevier. The 2018 Impact Factor was 3.892 (based on Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports). Information Processing & Management publishes cutting-edge original research at the intersection of computing and information science concerning theory, methods, or applications in a range of domains, including but not limited to advertising, business, health, information science, information technology marketing, and social computing.
Matthew Valle is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and is a former Air Force pilot. He earned a master’s in operations management from the University of Arkansas, an MBA from the University of Massachusetts, and a doctorate in business administration from Florida State University. He has published more than 100 articles in various outlets including Human Relations, the Journal of Business Ethics, the Journal of Managerial Psychology, Career Development International, Educational and Psychological Measurement, and the Journal of Management Inquiry.