Qualitative Cultural Differences: A Study of Workplace Incivility

Ronald G. Brassell, Western Kentucky University


The primary purpose of the present research was to investigate the cultural understanding and the subjective experiences of Turkish workers. Of specific concern were the perceptions and definition of workplace incivility, and identification of the instigators, victims, causes, and outcomes. Through inductive analysis, these perceptions of incivility were interpreted and compared to the generalized known findings made by researchers in the United States. To help compare these data, five of the nine dimensions of Project Globe were used as a theoretical foundation. Specifically, gender egalitarianism, power distance, assertiveness, institutional collectivism and humane orientation have been utilized to answer two pertinent questions: How does the perception of incivility in Istanbul, Turkey differ from the empirical findings of incivility in the United States? Second, how do the outcomes of incivility in Istanbul, Turkey differ from the empirical findings of outcomes for incivility in the United States? Findings from this research reveal that there are differences between the two cultures. These include the fragility of the line between the perception of workplace incivility and fear, and that targets of incivility in Turkey seem more likely to develop psychological and physiological symptoms.