Experienced incivility in the workplace: a meta-analytical review of its construct validity and nomological network

Jingxian Yao*, Sandy Lim, Cathy Yang Guo, Amy Y. Ou, Jomel Wei Xuan Ng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Although workplace incivility has received increasing attention in organizational research over the past two decades, there have been recurring questions about its construct validity, especially vis-à-vis other forms of workplace mistreatment. Also, the antecedents of experienced incivility remain understudied, leaving an incomplete understanding of its nomological network. In this meta-analysis using Schmidt and Hunter’s [Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings (3rd ed.), Sage] random-effect meta-analytic methods, we validate the construct of incivility by testing its reliability, convergent and discriminant validity, as well as its incremental predictive validity over other forms of mistreatment. We also extend its nomological network by drawing on the perpetrator predation framework to systematically study the antecedents of experienced incivility. Based on 105 independent samples and 51,008 participants, we find extensive support for incivility’s construct validity. Besides, we demonstrate that demographic characteristics (gender, race, rank, and tenure), personality traits (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, negative affectivity, and self-esteem), and contextual factors (perceived uncivil climate and socially supportive climate) are important antecedents of experienced incivility, with contextual factors displaying a stronger association with incivility. In a supplementary primary study with 457 participants, we find further support for the construct validity of incivility. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of this study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-220
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Meta-analysis
  • Perpetrator predation framework
  • Workplace incivility
  • Workplace mistreatment


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