Low-quality LMX Relationships, Leader Incivility, and Follower Responses
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournal of General Management. 2018, 44 (1), 17-26. 10.1177/0306307018788808
The present study focus on the quality of the leader-member exchange relationship as a potential antecedent of workplace incivility. Furthermore, affective and behavioral responses of those exposed to incivility by their superiors are examined. The sample is drawn from full-time employees in various industries located in eastern Norway where both leaders and their direct reports contributed with data. The results show that out-group members are at increased risk of workplace supervisory incivility. Furthermore, in accordance with Andersson and Pearson's (1999) framework, those who are exposed to incivility, will respond with negative emotional affect, which may progress to overwhelm the individual involved and manifest in social loafing. Finally, our results also show a direct association between incivility and both outcome variables. In line with social exchange theory, which conceptualizes the exchanges as a relatively rational calculative process, followers choose to reciprocate by limiting their personal effort and contribution to the organization. Taken together, unveiling two separate processes of supervisor incivility may imply that the relationships between the cognitive, emotional and behavioral aspects of incivility are more complex than previously assumed.