The Stress of Cyber Incivility at Work

5630090047_5922a8afeb_zCyber bullying has been an emerging issue in recent years, and recent news, like the recent suicide of firefighter Nicole Mittendorff, have brought to light just how pervasive and harmful cyber bullying can be in the workplace. A recent article published in Journal of Management, entitled “Daily Cyber Incivility and Distress: The Moderating Roles of Resources at Work and Home” from authors YoungAh Park, Charlotte Fritz, and Steve M. Jex delves into the topic of cyber incivility, pinpointing how cyber incivility can cause lasting distress in employees. The abstract for the paper:

Given that many employees use e-mail for work communication on a daily basis, this study examined within-person relationships between day-level incivility via work e-mail (cyber incivility) and employee outcomes. Using resource-based theories, we Current Issue Coverexamined two resources (i.e., job control, psychological detachment from work) that may alleviate the effects of cyber incivility on distress. Daily survey data collected over 4 consecutive workdays from 96 employees were analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling. Results showed that on days when employees experienced cyber incivility, they reported higher affective and physical distress at the end of the workday that, in turn, was associated with higher distress the next morning. Job control attenuated the concurrent relationships between cyber incivility and both types of distress at work, while psychological detachment from work in the evening weakened the lagged relationships between end-of-workday distress and distress the following morning. These findings shed light on cyber incivility as a daily stressor and on the importance of resources in both the work and home domains that can help reduce the incivility-related stress process. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations, and future research directions are discussed.

You can read “Daily Cyber Incivility and Distress: The Moderating Roles of Resources at Work and Home” from Journal of Management free for the next two weeks by clicking here. Want to keep current on all of the latest research from Journal of ManagementClick here to sign up for e-alerts!

*Image attributed to Mislav Marohnic (CC)

High-Performance Work Systems and Job Control

Jaclyn M. Jensen, George Washington University, Pankaj C. Patel, Ball State University, and Jake G. Messersmith, University of Nebraska-Kearney, published “High-Performance Work Systems and Job Control: Consequences for Anxiety, Role Overload, and Turnover Intentions,” which is now available in the Journal of Management‘s  OnlineFirst section. This article and three others were published on September 12, 2011 and can be found here, along with the rest of the OnlineFirst collection. 

The Abstract:

This study examines relationships among high-performance work systems (HPWS), job control, employee anxiety, role overload, and turnover intentions. Building on theory that challenges the rhetoric versus reality of HPWS, the authors explore a potential “dark side” of HPWS that suggests that HPWS, which are aimed at creating a competitive advantage for organizations, do so at the expense of workers, thus resulting in negative consequences for individual employees. However, the authors argue that these consequences may be tempered when HPWS are also implemented with a sufficient amount of job control, or discretion given to employees in determining how to implement job responsibilities. The authors draw on job demands–control theory and the stress literatures to hypothesize moderated-mediation relationships relating the interaction of HPWS utilization and job control to anxiety and role overload, with subsequent effects on turnover intentions. The authors examine these relationships in a multilevel sample of 1,592 government workers nested in 87 departments from the country of Wales. Results support their hypotheses, which highlight several negative consequences when HPWS are implemented with low levels of job control. They discuss their findings in light of the critique in the literature toward the utilization of HPWS in organizations and offer suggestions for future research directions.

More information about the Journal of Management can be found here.

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