Workplace Incivility and Organizational Trust
Over the past few decades, U.S. organizations have consistently moved toward models that have created market-like, distant, and transactional relationships and further away from values that help steward employee well-being (Cappelli, 1999). Indeed, it appears that organizations have taken great pains to limit their obligations to members and to focus on factors thought to increase productivity and market shares. Not surprisingly, there are a number of negative consequences associated with employee neglect including high turnover, low commitment and loyalty, and questionable levels of efficiency, not to mention decreased morale, alienated employees, and competitive and uncooperative workers engaged in uncivil and destructive communication practices. According to Pfeffer (Chapter 17 this volume) and others, the adoption of more communal forms of organizing characterized by civil discourse and high levels of employee and organizational trust could reverse such downward spirals and enhance organizational potential.