Stay Positive: The Lasting Effects of Workplace Civility Intervention (IO Psychology)
Topics: Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Occupational Health Psychology (OCT 2012)
Article: Getting better and staying better: Assessing civility, incivility, distress, and job attitudes one year after a civility intervention.
Authors: Michael P. Leiter, Arla Day, Debra Gilin Oore, & Heather K. Spence Laschinger
Reviewed By: Aaron Manier
The demands of work can take a toll on employees. People get stressed when their psychological resources are stretched thin and might end up lashing out at fellow employees. Negative exchanges damage work relationships and impact the organizational bottom-line through burnout, stress, turnover, and reduced engagement. Negative exchanges are often reacted to with more negativity, resulting in even more workplace incivility.
Because workplace incivility can be so damaging to an organization, management should develop strategies to address incivility and foster a positive working environment. Workplace civility interventions are one method of improving social interactions in the work environment. However, interventions can be costly and time-consuming. Do the effects of an intervention have a lasting impact beyond the intervention period, providing a significant return on investment?
This study examined the Civility, respect, and Engagement in the Workplace (CREW) intervention, a six-month process that fosters civil interactions between employees. Participants in the intervention experienced increases in civility with decreases in workplace distress and incivility after completing CREW. These improvements continued to increase one year after the intervention ended. The participants also experienced improvements in work attitudes, although these improvements stopped after the intervention. These findings suggest that management should consider civility interventions to address negative work environments. Not only can these interventions stop negative interactions, but positive interactions continue to increase even after the intervention, leading to lasting change and stronger organizational outcomes.
Leiter, M. P., Day, A., Oore, D. G., & Laschinger, H. K. S. (2012). Getting better and staying better: Assessing civility, incivility, distress, and job attitudes one year after a civility intervention. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(4), 425-434.
human resource management, organizational industrial psychology, organizational management
I/O at Work: the Movie
Topic: Management, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology (JUL 2010)
Article: When Distress Hits Home: The Role of Contextual Factors and Psychological Distress in Predicting Employees’ Responses to Abusive Supervision
Authors: S.L.D. Restubog, K.L. Scott, T.J. Zagenczyk
Reviewed By: Ben Sher
Restubog, S.L.D., Scott, K.L., & Zagenczyk, T.J. (2011). When Distress Hits Home: The Role of Contextual Factors and Psychological Distress in Predicting Employees’ Responses to Abusive Supervision. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(4), 713-729.
Organizational Attraction – It’s more than the Money!
Topic: Staffing, Culture, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (2010)
Article: Fit with What? The Influence of Multiple Self-Concept Images on Organizational Attraction
Authors: K. P. Nolan, C. M. Harold
Reviewed By: Lauren A. Wood
What attracts a potential employee to a specific organization – salary, benefits, promotion opportunities? Yes, in part, but attraction also stems from something deeper – an employee’s own self-image. Self-image consists primarily of two parts: the actual self (or the compilation of traits and attributes that an individual believes him or herself to possess) and the ideal self (or the collection of traits and attributes that an individual would like to acquire).
According to image congruity theory, customers are likely to purchase products that reflect both their actual as well as ideal self-image. Expanding this theory, individuals on the job hunt should favor organizations that emphasize both actual and ideal self-image qualities of the candidate. But, these same candidates should be the most attracted to organizations which emphasize their ideal self-image qualities, because this should inflate self-esteem by making the candidate feel closer to achieving his or her ideal self-image.
Perceived similarities make it easier for newbies to adjust. But how?…
Topic: Diversity, Work Environment, Culture, Creativity
Publication: Journal of Vocational Behavior (APR 2011)
Article:Perceived similarity, proactive adjustment, and organizational socialization
Authors: J. D. Kammeyer-Mueller, B. A. Livingston, & H. Liau
Reviewed by: Charleen Maher
Organizational newcomers carry the stress of adjusting to their new jobs, working with new people, and learning the ins and outs of a new organization. Previous research has shown that when organizational newcomers engage in proactive adjustment behaviors (e.g. feedback seeking, relationship building), they are more likely to be committed to their new organizations and are more likely to be accepted by their coworkers.
This study sought to find out if perceived similarity to one’s new work group leads to more proactive adjustment behaviors and, in turn, has an effect on important work outcomes (e.g. creative performance, organizational citizenship behaviors). The authors examined the following aspects of perceived similarity: surface-level (similarity in age, education, race, gender) and deep-level (similar work style). So, what is the relationship between perceived similarity and proactive adjustment behaviors?
Perceived similarity in age, race, gender, and education predicted perceived similarity in work-style. Similarity in age actually decreased the chances that organizational newcomers would engage in proactive feedback seeking. Similarity in education increased the likelihood that newcomers would socialize with coworkers.
Political skill in a highly political environment: Does it help?
Topic: Performance, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Vocational Behavior (JAN 2011)
Article:Politics perceptions as moderator of the political skill – job performance relationship: A two-study, cross-national, constructive replication
Authors: I. Kapoutsis, A. Papalexandris, A. Nikolopoulos, W. A. Hochwarter, & G. R. Ferris
Reviewed by: Charleen Maher
A highly political work environment can be chaotic, ambiguous, and even threatening. Working in this type of environment distracts employees from achieving work-related goals and interferes with employee job performance. One employee resource related to improved job performance is political skill, described as the capacity to understand the people and situations at work in order to accomplish job-related goals. In a highly political work environment, what happens when politically skilled individuals work to reach their job-related goals?
The authors examined the relationship between political skill and job performance under different political situations at work. They found that political skill was a significant predictor of job performance in an environment of low perceived politics. In other words, when a work environment is free of distracting perceptions of politics, performance is highest among individuals with political skill. These individuals are able to influence others in order to perform effectively at work. However, performance suffers regardless of the amount of political skill one has when the work environment is perceived as volatile or highly political.
To Satisfy or Maximize? Understanding the Needs of Older Workers
Topic: Diversity, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Organizational Behavior (JAN 2011)
Article: Profiles of mature job seekers: Connecting needs and desires to work characteristics
Authors: Yoshie Nakai, Boin Chang, Andrea F. Snell, and Chris D. Fluckinger
Reviewer: Kerrin George
With the difficult economy, organizations are facing the retention of an aging workforce that has unique needs, desires, and challenges. In an effort to explain the work characteristics of interest to workers over 40, Nakai and colleagues (2011) examined and identified 3 clusters of workers based on how they evaluated several dimensions that describe why one desire’s work: the Satisficers, the Free agents, and the Maximizers.
Satisficers were demographically younger than the other groups, and this group was composed of more males and married individuals comparatively. These workers are primarily driven by financial security and seek opportunities to earn money as a means to manage family demands. Health benefits and remaining healthy were also a significant concern. Life goals were less important for these workers and they were willing to change industries to meet their demands. The authors suggest that these workers may be more likely to settle and sacrifice other aspects of work.
Free agents were mostly female and unmarried mature workers, who were older than the satisficers. This group favored part-time work and was more motivated by individual goals (i.e. health, learning opportunities, and work satisfaction), perhaps because they have less family or financial obligations (i.e. social security recipients, financial security).
Thinking About Downsizing? Read This First!
Topic: Wellness, Work Environment
Publication: Human Resource Management (JAN 2011)
Article: The effects of downsizing on labor productivity, the value of showing consideration for employees’ morale and welfare in high-performance work systems
Authors: R.D. Iverson, C.D. Zatzick
Reviewed By: Rebecca Eckart
As economic conditions weaken, downsizing has become an increased reality for many organizations. Typically aimed at decreasing operational costs, often downsizing has the unintended consequence of also lowering employee productivity and morale.
To harness costs and increase efficiency, an increasing number of organizations are adopting High -Performance Work Systems (HPWS).These are typically defined by multiple separate but interconnected human resource practices aimed at increasing employee commitment, skills, and productivity. Examples include such practices as selective hiring, information sharing, job design, employee participation, and HR planning. HPWS center on encouraging and motivating employees to use their enhanced skills and knowledge to increase individual productivity and thus aid in the accomplishment of organizational goals.
HPWS are often a significantly large resource and cost expense for organizations, leading researchers to investigate HPWS in the context of downsizing. Iverson and Zatzick (2011) report that organizations with HPWS have lower levels of productivity following downsizing, but this relationship is more pronounced for those that give little consideration to employees’ morale and well-being during the process.
Fighting Bullies Beyond the Schoolyard: Bullying in the Workplace as a Competition for Resources
Topic: Conflict, Work Environment, Workplace Deviance
Publication: Business Horizons
Article: Eating their cake and everyone else’s cake, too: Resources as the main ingredient to work place bullying
Authors: A.R. Wheeler, J.R.B. Halbesleben, and K. Shanine
Reviewed By: Allison B. Siminovsky
It is a basic tenet of economics that there are limited resources for infinite demand, and the workplace is no exception to this rule. Resources in the organizational context are thoworkse things that workers need in order to perform their jobs–social relationships, job-skill set match, and a positive environment in which to work among them. In order to attain these resources, workers sometimes act in a counterproductive manner, psychologically or physically abusing those co-workers that seem to have the resources in their possession. This behavior is also known as bullying, and it is a serious problem facing organizations the world over.
This article not only asserts the belief that organizational policies on bullying should be proactive, preventing maltreatment from occurring in the first place, but that such policies should focus on environmental causes of bullying rather than personal qualities. That is, the authors assert that being a bully is not a disposition of one’s personality, but rather a defensive response to an unsupportive work environment. If the bullying begins as a means to attain and protect one’s resources, then companies can prevent bullying by reinforcing their environments against such activity. This can include better designing jobs so that available resources match job requirements and implementing zero-tolerance policies for bullying behavior.
To Fake or Not to Fake: Employee Differences in Displaying Emotions
Topic: Faking, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology
Article: Willing and able to fake emotions: A closer examination of the link between emotional dissonance and employee well-being
Authors: S.D. Pugh, M. Groth & T. Hennig-Thurau
Reviewed By: Benjamin Lee Overstreet
Think about it: If you’re having a bad day, the last thing you want to do at work is put on a smile and say “How can I help you today?” When you have to fake a persona that is in direct conflict with your real emotions, you are experiencing what is called emotional dissonance.
Research shows that emotional dissonance is a stressor to employees; negatively affecting both employee performance and well-being. On the other hand, sometimes the ability to fake positive emotions (surface acting) leads to feelings of personal accomplishment and job satisfaction. So which is it? A study by Pugh et al. suggests that it largely depends on the person.
Pugh et al.’s recent study suggests that while some employees don’t mind faking their emotions, others find it necessary to display their true emotions. In other words, employees differ in their self-concepts for surface acting. Furthermore, their study suggests that some employees are confident in their surface acting abilities, while others are very unsure. Thus, employees also differ in their surface acting self-efficacy.
Results indicate that surface acting self-concept and self-efficacy strongly affect the relationship between surface acting and the outcomes such as job satisfaction and emotional exhaustion.
Thank you! Why do these two words mean so much?
Topic: Citizenship Behavior, Work Environment
Publication: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Article: A little thanks goes a long way: Explaining why gratitude expressions motivate prosocial behavior (JUN 2010)
Authors: A. M. Grant, and F. Gino
Reviewed by: Sarah Teague
In recent years, employees’ jobs and job tasks have become increasingly interconnected, necessitating an increase in teams and groups in the workplace. This integration means that employees must interact with many different people at work on a regular basis and places a high value on interpersonal skills, even for non-service jobs. Modern organizations need employees who can function well in teams and work together to help achieve a common goal. As such, it is important for these organizations to understand how to promote prosocial (helping) amongst their employees.
One simple way to increase prosocial behavior is to express gratitude. That is, a simple “thank you” often does the trick … but WHY does this work? Grant and Gino (2010) proposed two competing explanations based on the dimensions of agency and communion. The agency perspective suggests that expressions of gratitude can enhance an individual’s feeling of competence (e.g.,), while communion predicts that gratitude increases feelings of social worth
The current article sought to determine whether expressions of gratitude make the helper feel more confident about his/her helping abilities or make him/her feel more valued.