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Managing Incivility in an Organization

Managing Incivility in an Organization

Suggestions That Are Difficult to Implement In a Public Organization

Incidents of incivility at the workplace reduce employees’ productivity and the company’s bottom line. The direct victims of incivility are a company’s employees. When managers exhibit rude behavior toward employees, the latter tend to deliberately reduce the quality of their work or do much less. Besides, once customers establish that an organization treats its employees badly, they are less likely to buy from the business. Porath and Pearson (2019) recommend implementing some strategies to manage incivility. However, some of the recommendations are hard to implement in public organizations.

One of the management strategies that may be difficult to implement in a public organization is the reward system. Rewarding good behavior requires financial resources, which must be approved through a bureaucratic system in a public organization. Therefore, it may not be possible to implement short-term reward programs. Another recommendation meant to alleviate incivility is to hire for civility. Hiring for civility means an organization will consider a candidate’s state of emotional intelligence besides academic qualifications (Porath & Pearson, 2019). However, this is not possible in public organizations since requirements for employment are strictly academic. Any slight deviation, therefore, may be seen as an inappropriate hire.

Approaches for Managing and Resolving Conflict

Omisore & Abiodun (2014) aver that a fundamental approach to conflict resolution is to respect diversity in views and perspectives. This involves embracing an organizational culture where employees respect the people they agree with and those they disagree with. The approach will reduce conflicts between colleagues since they get to understand one another. Accordingly, team members will not be judged by how they speak. Also, active conflict management allows conflicting parties to discuss their issues openly. Openness allows all team members to offer contradicting arguments that add value to an organization (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). Additionally, open conversations and argument confrontation enhance overall team effectiveness.

Importance of Managing Conflict at the Content and Relational Levels

Content/task conflicts occur when there are disagreements about a task’s content or goals. Unlike relationship conflicts, content-level conflicts are about ideas and opinions about handling work. Resolving such conflicts yields a debate that may spur organizational innovation (Omisore & Abiodun, 2014). On the other hand, relation-level conflicts manifest when there are interpersonal incompatibilities between team members. An organization forms a culture that encourages diversity by resolving relation-level conflicts.


Omisore, B. O., & Abiodun, A. R. (2014). Organizational Conflicts: Causes, Effects and Remedies. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 3(6).

Porath, C., & Pearson, C. (2019). The Price of Incivility. Harvard Business Review.


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Managing Incivility in an Organization

Managing Incivility in an Organization

Porath and Pearson describe the costs of incivility to an organization. They include suggestions for managing the organization and note steps you need to take action across the company. Explain which of the suggestions you think would be most difficult to implement in a public organization. Discuss approaches to managing and resolving conflicts. Explain the importance of managing conflict at the content and relational levels.

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