Exploring the Impact of Cyber Incivility in the Workplace

Jacques Ophoff, Thabiso Machaka, Adrie Stander
InSITE 2015  •  2015  •  pp. 493-504
The world is an interconnected global village due to the increasing adoption and reliance on technology, but an ugly side of the increased usage of technology has come to light. The issue of harassment and abuse on the internet has led to relatively new issues such as cyber harassment, cyber incivility and cyberbullying.
A case study was conducted within two faculties at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The research objectives were: to find out how staff members in a workplace have experienced cyber incivility, to find out what effects cyber incivility has on employees, to find out what the motivations are for staff participation in cyber incivility, and to find out what policies a workplace should have in place in order to deal with cyber incivility.
The data collected shows that there have been occurrences of cyber harassment and cyber incivility among staff members at UCT. The following effects were found to be consistent with cyber harassment and cyber incivility: decrease in productivity and a toxic working environment. On an individual basis: anger, negative feelings and feelings of inferiority, feeling demotivated, feelings of fear and intimidation, feeling emotional and upset, irritation, loss of self-esteem, stress and wasted time.
Cyber incivility, online harassment, organizational policy
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