chapter  6
22 Pages

The Construction of Civility in Multicultural Organizations


Expanding work hours, work-life balance stresses, loss of community structures, economic uncertainties, and national security threats are bringing increased stresses to the lives of organizational members. Coupled with societal shifts toward informal cultures and discourse, one of the consequences of these stressors may be a growing trend toward uncivil behavior in the workplace-rudeness, hostility, harassment, desk rage, flaming, and even workplace bullying (Lutgen-Sandvik & McDermott, 2008; LutgenSandvik, Tracy, & Alberts, 2007; Namie, 2003; O’Sullivan & Flanagin, 2003; Sypher, 2004). These behaviors vary in their intent and intensity, although even the less overt forms can be intimidating, discriminatory, harmful, controlling, and silencing. Many have called for a restoration of civility in the workplace (e.g., Forni, 2002; Gonthier, 2002; Pearson, Andersson, & Porath, 2000; Sypher, 2004).