Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Adult Education and Human Resource Development

First Advisor's Name

Thomas G. Reio, Jr.

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committeee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Hyejin Bang

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Benjamin Baez

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Judith Bernier

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


occupational stress, workplace incivility, personality, intentions to turnover

Date of Defense



In the face of competition and competing demands on organizations, employees are taxed to exert more effort with fewer resources. The type of environment can create the recipe for increased levels of occupational stress and an environment of increased workplace incivility.Therefore, it is not surprising that research has begun to look at the interaction between occupational stress and workplace incivility. The current work environment requires employees to exert more effort or face negative consequences from supervisors and peers. All too often, the salary increases, bonus structure, career progression, job security and mobility that might be reasonably expected from producing such extra effort do not align with organizational reality. The vexing situation creates workplace settings in which employees would be more likely to release their frustrations generated by unmet expectations through engaging in uncivil behaviors. Andersson and Pearson (1999) define workplace incivility as a “low-intensity deviant behavior with ambiguous intent to harm the target, in violation of workplace norms for mutual respect” (p. 457).

The purpose of this quantitative study was to explore the relationship between occupational stress and instigator workplace incivility, as moderated by personality, to select organizational outcomes (i.e., perceived physical health and intent to turnover). Data were collected from 206 fulltime working adults in the healthcare industry utilizing Amazon MTurk. Moderated hierarchical regressions were conducted to test the possible moderating role of personality on the stress-incivility relationship; the results demonstrated partial support for H1-H4. Hierarchical regression analyses were conducted also to explore the degree stress and incivility predicted the outcome variables of perceived physical health and intentions to turnover; the data indicated support for the notion that greater stress and incivility positively predicted turnover intent.

The findings suggest that personality did play a role in the stress-incivility relationship. Conscientiousness and agreeableness dampened the relationship, while neuroticism and extraversion strengthened the relationship. Further, this study found that intent to turnover increased as workplace incivility also increased, even after controlling for stress. Future research was proposed to test the models examined in this study in different settings, with additional moderators, and longitudinally. The practical findings suggest the possible utility of stress reduction training to reduce the likelihood of uncivil behavior.





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