Witnessing Incivility Among Employees: Effects on Consumer Anger and Negative Inferences About Companies
38 Pages Posted: 14 May 2010 Last revised: 1 Jul 2015
Date Written: May 12, 2010
The authors introduce the incivility construct and demonstrate that witnessing an incident of employee-employee incivility causes consumers to make negative generalizations about (a) others who work for the firm, (b) the firm as a whole, and (c) future encounters with the firm; inferences that go well beyond the incivility incident. We demonstrate the process by which these effects occur, showing that anger at the uncivil employee induces these effects. We find that anger leads to rumination about the uncivil encounter and causes customers to make quicker and more negative generalizations about related entities. We also identify boundary conditions for the relationship between incivility and negative generalizations. These process and boundary condition results add theoretically to the literature on incivility as well as work on anger’s effect on information processing.
Keywords: anger, incivility, inferences, consumer behavior
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