THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN WORKPLACE INCIVILITY AND THE INTENTION TO LEAVE; IMPLICATION TO HRD

J. Shim, H.J. Chang

Korea Research Institute for Vocational Education & Training (KOREA, REPUBLIC OF)
The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship between the experience of workplace incivility and the intention to leave the organization. Workplace incivility refers to low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect. It is distinguished from other various forms of deviant behaviors such as workplace violence, workplace aggression, bullying and harassment. Theoretically, workplace incivility can destroy meaningful interactions among people and eventually create organizational disaster. However, very few empirical research studies have been conducted to find out its ill effects so that organizations do not realize the seriousness of workplace incivility.
To find out the negative effect of workplace incivility on the intention to leave organizations, this study collected data from twenty-two Korean companies. In total, 494 surveys were returned out of 600, and 476 were cleaned for data analysis (79.3%). Reliability tests, correlations, and ANOVAs were employed to investigate the research hypotheses. The results of this study showed a positive relationship between the experience of workplace incivility and the intention to leave organization. More specifically, it was found that if one experience workplace incivility, then he/she is more likely to leave the organization.

Implications for future research include further development of workplace incivility measurement tools for Korean settings. Additionally, there are plenty of areas to be explored in order to show the ill effects of workplace incivility, such as leader-member relationships, employee engagement, and organizational citizenship behaviors. In addition, implications for practitioners include providing orientation and training sessions about the concept of workplace incivility, and developing interventions for workplace incivility to prevent its prevalence in organizations were suggested. For victims to report incidents of workplace incivility, the 360-degree feedback system should be considered.