Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Robin M Kowalski
Mary Anne Taylor
In recent years, the ever-expanding role of technology in the workplace has led to increased incidents of cyberincivility and cyberbullying in this setting. These constructs are related to cyberbullying among youth but have important distinctions as the settings, behaviors, and outcomes can differ. As the body of literature on cyberbullying and cyberincivility in the workplace grows, it is difficult to assess the validity of results as there are various measures used to quantify these constructs, and there is some disagreement in the literature on the definitions and distinction between the two. It is impossible to assess the prevalence, behaviors, and outcomes of workplace cyberincivility and cyberbullying without a standard measure of the constructs. Researchers approach measuring workplace cyberincivility and cyberbullying in one of three ways: (1) by adapting a youth cyberbullying or traditional (face-to-face) bullying/incivility measure, (2) by creating new survey questions for each new research project, or (3) by working to create a reliable and valid measure for cyberincivility or cyberbullying in the workplace. The aim of this study was to explore these two constructs to assess whether they are, in fact, distinct and separate phenomena, to investigate and compare current measures of cyberincivility and cyberbullying in the workplace, and to inspect the overlapping outcomes associated with cyberbullying and cyberincivility in the workplace. Further, the primary goal of this project was to aid practitioners by determining which existing measure(s) are the most reliable and valid methods to assess the prevalence, behaviors, and outcomes of cyberincivility and cyberbullying in the workplace. One hundred and seventy participants were recruited from employees of a large southeastern university, including administration, faculty, and staff. Results of this study showed that correlations between workplace cyberbullying and cyberincivility (together referred to as Counterproductive Workplace Cyberbehaviors, CWCB) are significant, as are correlations between CWCB and dependent variable outcomes of interest such as absenteeism, turnover intention, anxiety, depressive symptoms, perceived organizational support, and affective organizational commitment. Further, results from an exploratory factor analysis showed that items from commonly used measurements load significantly onto one main factor, CWCB. Additionally, hierarchical regression analyses support previous research in youth cyberbullying, that CWCBs contribute significantly to outcomes of interest above and beyond traditional workplace bullying and incivility. This study is a step toward creating and adopting a reliable, valid, and economic measurement of CWCBs. Once standardized measurement is established, practitioners can begin to aid organizations in developing programs in CWCB, reporting, and intervention.
Wilson, Annie, "Comparing Cyberincivility and Cyberbullying in the Workplace: Measurement, Outcomes, and the Power Imbalance" (2021). All Dissertations. 2842.