Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

David Banner

Abstract

Workplace incivility is increasing in prevalence and is associated with increased job stress, depression, and anxiety; it is also associated with decreased productivity, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment. Despite the monetary and psychosocial cost of incivility to organizations and individuals, little research has focused on mitigation strategies. The purpose of this correlational study was to determine the relationships between emotional intelligence and instigation of workplace incivility. The theoretical framework was emotional intelligence theory. The central research question posited that higher levels of emotional intelligence are inversely related to instigated workplace incivility. Data were collected electronically from 260 full time employed adult men and women in the United States using the Instigated Workplace Incivility Scale and the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire Short Form. Hypotheses were tested using Pearson's correlation coefficient and stepwise multiple regression analysis. Findings showed that instigation of workplace incivility was significantly inversely correlated with global trait emotional intelligence (r = -.23, p = .001) and with the emotional intelligence subscales of self-control (r = - .25, p = .001) and emotionality (r = -.21, p = .001). Stepwise multiple regression analysis showed that younger age and lower levels of self-control and emotionality predicted higher levels of incivility. Social change implications include the potential for organizational leaders to preempt incivility by developing employees' emotional intelligence through training and education. Future research is needed to investigate the impact of emotional intelligence training on incivility and key outcomes (e.g., job stress, job satisfaction, productivity, etc.).