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Darren Dahl (Editor in Chief)Eileen FischerGita JoharVicki Morwitz

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Witnessing Incivility among Employees: Effects on Consumer Anger and Negative Inferences about Companies

Christine Porath, Debbie MacInnis, Valerie Folkes
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1086/651565 292-303 First published online: 1 August 2010

Abstract

We introduce the incivility construct and demonstrate that witnessing an incident of employee-employee incivility causes consumers to make negative generalizations about (a) others who work for the firm, (b) the firm as a whole, and (c) future encounters with the firm, inferences that go well beyond the incivility incident. We demonstrate the process by which these effects occur, showing that anger at the uncivil employee induces these effects. We find that anger leads to rumination about the uncivil encounter and causes customers to make quicker and more negative generalizations about related entities. We also identify boundary conditions for the relationship between incivility and negative generalizations. These process and boundary condition results add theoretically to the literature on incivility as well as that on anger’s effect on information processing.

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