PurposeTo enhance the understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effects of incivility on outcomes, the purpose of this paper is to propose and test work engagement as a mediator of the impact of supervisor-initiated incivility on subordinates’ task and citizenship performance. Further, the authors propose that this mediated relationship would be conditional on the influence of trust in supervisor, such that the relationship would be exacerbated for subordinates who have high levels of trust in the supervisor.Design/methodology/approachData came from a cross-sectional survey of 350 professionals employed in diverse occupations and organization types.FindingsThe authors found support for the mediating role of work engagement for citizenship performance, but not for task performance. As predicted, this explanation only held for employees who reported at least average levels of trust in their supervisors, supporting the “mediation is moderated” explanation.Originality/valueUnderstanding how and for whom supervisor incivility affects task and citizenship performance is vital to advancing theory as well as for designing interventions to mitigate the negative effects. This manuscript is one of very few to pursue this line of research and makes important contributions to theory and practice.
Personnel Review – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 3, 2018
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