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‘Workplace incivility’ on the rise, study finds

Workplace incivility” is rise according study presented American Psychological Association.  GloriReyes Chicago Illinois.      |

Workplace incivility” is on the rise, according to a study presented to the American Psychological Association. Gloria Reyes of Chicago, Illinois. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times

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Updated: September 10, 2011 12:39AM

As if there weren’t enough stress on the job, now there’s a growing problem with “workplace incivility,” new research finds.

“It’s a growing and prevalent problem,” says study co-author Jeannie Trudel of Indiana Wesleyan University-Marion, who presented her findings in Washington at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association, attended by more than 13,200 psychology professionals.

Key reasons: fewer workers as a result of economic pressures, and, as a result, longer hours and higher demand on those workers who remain.

Trudel’s study found that 86 percent of the 289 workers at three Midwestern firms reported incivility at work.

The researchers defined that as “a form of organizational deviance ... characterized by low-intensity behaviors that violate respectful workplace norms.”

In plainer terms, it’s rude behavior, insults and just plain bad manners.

“It’s very hard to target because you don’t really know if someone means to be rude ... so it’s an insidious problem,” Trudel says. “There are very, very negative effects of accumulated minor stresses when a workplace is considered uncivil.”

As companies buy out, cut back and lay off workers but expect productivity not to suffer, what often does end up suffering is civility, says Paul Fairlie, a psychologist and researcher in Toronto.

“White-collar work is becoming a little more blue-collar,” says Fairlie. “There’s higher work demands, longer hours; when you control for inflation, people are getting paid less than in the late ’60s.”

Gannett News Service

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