Workplace Incivility and Diversity

Some individuals experience incivility at work based on others’ perceptions of whether they are different from the norm.  Incivility, the often-unintentional violation of social norms, can occur as a result of perpetrators’ unconscious prejudice.  Such activity can result in decreased employee satisfaction, increased likelihood of looking for another job, and decreased mental and physical health.

Employers can take these threats seriously by considering how to integrate diversity initiatives and incivility initiatives.  Common diversity interventions might unintentionally lead to increased acts of incivility due to the likelihood of suppressing true feelings.  Additionally, programs that encourage diversity awareness development and continuous introspection have been criticized for not leading to meaningful action.

My article on this topic was recently published in Advances in Developing Human Resources. It culminates in addressing how diversity initiatives might be reimagined using an incivility framework that seeks to utilize an action orientation.  The pre-edited version is available by clicking here.

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