The regulating role of mindfulness in enacted workplace incivility: An experience sampling study

Ute R. Hülsheger*, Suzanne van Gils, Alicia Walkowiak

*Corresponding author for this work

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Incivility at work poses a problem, both for individuals who are the targets of incivility and for organizations. However, relatively little is known about what drives or hinders individuals to engage in incivility, and how they respond to their own uncivil behavior. Adopting a self-regulation perspective, we link theories explaining enacted incivility as self-regulatory failure with research about the selfregulatory benefits of mindfulness. We develop and investigate a conceptual model on the role of trait mindfulness in antecedent- and consequent-based processes of enacted workplace incivility. Data from an experience-sampling study across 5 work days provided support for the majority of our hypotheses. Individuals high in trait mindfulness not only showed generally low levels of enacted incivility, but they also displayed less variability in enacted incivility over time. Specifically, while enacted incivility was entrained to the work week and systematically decreased from Monday to Friday for individuals low in mindfulness, enacted incivility remained stable over the course of the work week for individuals high in mindfulness. Furthermore, employees high in trait mindfulness reacted in a more morally mature manner and experienced guilt when having engaged in uncivil behavior compared to their low mindful counterparts. However, increases in guilt for high mindful individuals did not translate into lower levels of enacted incivility the following work day.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1250-1265
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number8
Early online date10 Sept 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


  • incivility
  • mindfulness
  • guilt
  • variability
  • entrainment
  • WORK
  • SELF
  • TIME

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