chapter  1
21 Pages

General concepts and practical application (WIIFM?)

WithAngela N. Spranger

You may recognize the “WIIFM?” in the chapter title as the abbreviation for “What’s In It For Me?” In this chapter we’ll be discussing the practical application of this subject matter. Prior to 1990, there were only around 200 academic articles published on the topic of “bad behavior in the workplace” (O’Leary-Kelly, Duffy, & Griffin, 2000). Between 1990 and 2000, that number jumped to over 750 articles. The concept of workplace incivility, and its many variants, had become a thing of significant theoretical interest. Full disclosure, and this still makes me chuckle at my own naiveté: as I started working on a paper for a class I was taking in 2006, I thought I had coined the phrases “workplace incivility” and “bad behavior in the workplace.” When I initiated my research for the literature review I was stunned at the amount of literature that already existed… how could it be that work, and working, could be such an unpleasant experience and so many people would just endure the ugliness they reported?