Surviving supervisor incivility: Can age-related coping strategies attenuate its negative effect on commitment?

Document Type : Research Paper


Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Public Administration, Ardakan University, Ardakan, Iran


Although previous research has shown that supervisor incivility reduces commitment, this study endeavors to address some research gaps regarding 1) the boundary condition of age in the relationship between supervisor incivility and affective commitment and 2) the mediation of two age-related coping strategies (i.e., distraction and reappraisal) by which age can moderate incivility-commitment relationship 3) the relationship between age and the coping strategies. Drawing on socio-emotional selectivity theory, it is argued that, the association between supervisor incivility and commitment is weaker when employees are older. Additionally, it was proposed that the moderating impact of age is mediated by two coping strategies of reappraisal and distraction in a way that older employees, relative to younger employees, would demonstrate an increased tendency for distraction over reappraisal after experiencing incivility. The final sample comprised 287 employees in diverse businesses. The results revealed that higher supervisor incivility was significantly associated with less commitment. Confirming the moderating role of age, this research also showed that the older the employees are, the more distraction (not reappraisal) is used. These results have implications for managers and future researchers.


Main Subjects

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