Being subjected to rudeness is a major reason for dissatisfaction at work and unpleasant behaviour spreads if nothing is done about it, a study says. Workplace incivility should be treated with the utmost seriousness. This is the finding of three psychologists at Lund University in Sweden.
It can also refer to taking credit for the work of others, spreading rumours, sending malicious emails, or not giving praise to subordinates. “It is really about behaviour that is not covered by legislation, but which can have considerable consequences and develop into outright bullying if it is allowed to continue”, said lead researcher Eva Torkelson from Lund University in Sweden.
Bullying in the workplace is quite a well documented phenomenon, whereas rudeness that risks turning into bullying is not, she said. For the study, the researchers surveyed nearly 6,000 people on the social climate in the workplace.
As people often imitate the behaviour of others, there is a risk that rudeness becomes a vicious circle with considerable consequences for the entire workplace, the researchers said. The findings appeared in the journal BioMed Research International.