Linking supervisor incivility with job embeddedness and cynicism: The mediating role of employee self-efficacy

Uju Violet Alola, Simplice A Asongu, Andrew Adewale Alola
(Submitted 14 October 2018)
(Published 27 December 2019)


Applying the conservation of resource resources theory and the self-efficacy theory, this study investigates the relationship between supervisor incivility, self-efficacy, cynicism and the job embeddedness of employees in the hotel industry. The role of self-efficacy, as an important variable that mediates the relationship between the predictor and the criterion variable, is significantly evaluated. A non-probability sampling technique was used to collect 245 questionnaires from frontline employees of five and four-star hotels in Nigeria. The findings reveal that supervisor incivility has a negative effect on self-efficacy and a positive effect on cynicism, and that self-efficacy negatively affects cynicism. There was no significant relationship with job embeddedness in the study.  Importantly, the investigation establishes that self-efficacy is a mediating variable between supervisor incivility and cynicism. The study noted the importance of adopting a policy that introduces periodic seminars and professional training for both employees and supervisors, as a means for curbing incivility and cynicism. The study concludes with theoretical and practical implications, leaving room for further investigation


supervisor incivility; cynicism; self-efficacy; job embeddedness; Nigeria.

Full Text: PDF

DOI: 10.22146/gamaijb.39647


Abraham, R. 2000. Organizational cynicism: Bases and consequences. Genetic, social, and general psychology monographs, 126(3), 269.

Abubakar, A. M., Abubakar, A. M., Arasli, H., and Arasli, H. 2016. Dear top management, please don’t make me a cynic: intention to sabotage. Journal of Management Development, 35(10), 1266-1286.

Abubakar, A. M., Namin, B. H., Harazneh, I., Arasli, H., and Tunç, T. 2017. Does gender moderates the relationship between favoritism/nepotism, supervisor incivility, cynicism and workplace withdrawal: A neural network and SEM approach. Tourism Management Perspectives, 23, 129-139.

Akadiri, S. S., Akadiri, A. C., and Alola, U. V. 2017. Is there growth impact of tourism? Evidence from selected small island states. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-19.

Alola, A. A., and Alola, U. V. 2018. Agricultural land usage and tourism impact on renewable energy consumption among Coastline Mediterranean Countries. Energy and Environment, 0958305X18779577.

Alola, U. V., and Alola, A. A. 2018. Can Resilience Help? Coping with Job Stressor. Academic Journal of Economic Studies, 4(1), 141-152.

Alola, U. V., Olugbade, O. A., Avci, T., & Öztüren, A. (2019). Customer incivility and employees' outcomes in the hotel: Testing the mediating role of emotional exhaustion. Tourism Management Perspectives, 29, 9-17.

Alola, U., Avci, T., & Ozturen, A. (2018). Organization Sustainability through Human Resource Capital: The Impacts of Supervisor Incivility and Self-Efficacy. Sustainability, 10(8), 2610.

Anderson, L. 1996. Employee cynicism: An examination using a contract violation framework. Human Relations, 49, 1395-1418.

Andersson, L. M., and Pearson, C. M. 1999. Tit for tat? The spiraling effect of incivility in the workplace. Academy of management review, 24(3), 452-471.

Arasli, H., Bahman Teimouri, R., Kiliç, H., and Aghaei, I. 2017. Effects of service orientation on job embeddedness in hotel industry. The Service Industries Journal, 37(9-10), 607-627.

Aslan, Ş., and Eren, Ş. 2014. The effect of cynicism and the organizational cynicism on alıenatıon. In The Clute Institute International Academic Conference (pp. 617-625)

Bandura, A. 1998. Health promotion from the perspective of social cognitive theory. Psychology and health, 13(4), 623-649.

Bandura, A. 2012. On the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy revisited.

Bernerth, J. B., Armenakis, A. A., Feild, H. S., Giles, W. F., and Walker, H. J. 2007. Leader–member social exchange (LMSX): Development and validation of a scale. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 28(8), 979-1003.

Bommer, W. H., Rich, G. A., and Rubin, R. S. 2005. Changing attitudes about change: Longitudinal effects of transformational leader behavior on employee cynicism about organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(7), 733-753.

Bowers, M. R., and Martin, C. L. 2007. Trading places redux: employees as customers, customers as employees. Journal of Services Marketing, 21(2), 88-98.

Brown, G., Crossley, C., and Robinson, S. L. 2014. Psychological ownership, territorial behavior, and being perceived as a team contributor: The critical role of trust in the work environment. Personnel Psychology, 67(2), 463-485.

Bunk, J. A., and Magley, V. J. 2013. The role of appraisals and emotions in understanding experiences of workplace incivility. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 18(1), 87.

Byrne, B. M. 2001. Structural equation modeling: Perspectives on the present and the future. International Journal of Testing, 1(3-4), 327-334.

Cavana, R. Y., Delahaye, B. L., and Sekaran, U. 2001. Applied business research: Qualitative and quantitative methods. John Wiley and Sons Australia.

Chen, Y., Ferris, D. L., Kwan, H. K., Yan, M., Zhou, M., and Hong, Y. 2013. Self-love's lost labor: A self-enhancement model of workplace incivility. Academy of Management Journal, 56(4), 1199-1219.

Chiaburu, D. S., Peng, A. C., Oh, I.-S., Banks, G. C., and Lomeli, L. C. 2013. Antecedents and consequences of employee organizational cynicism: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83, 181-197.

Cho, M., Cho, M., Bonn, M. A., Bonn, M. A., Han, S. J., Han, S. J., and Lee, K. H. 2016. Workplace incivility and its effect upon restaurant frontline service employee emotions and service performance. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 28(12), 2888-2912.

Collins, B. J. 2017. Fair? I Don’t Care: Examining the Moderating Effect of Workplace Cynicism on the Relationship Between Interactional Fairness and Perceptions of Organizational Support From a Social Exchange Perspective. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 24(3), 401-413.

Collins, B. J., Burrus, C. J., and Meyer, R. D. 2014. Gender differences in the impact of leadership styles on subordinate embeddedness and job satisfaction. The leadership quarterly, 25(4), 660-671.

Colquitt, J. A., Conlon, D. E., Wesson, M. J., Porter, C. O., and Ng, K. Y. 2001. Justice at the millennium: a meta-analytic review of 25 years of organizational justice research.

Cortina, L. M., Magley, V. J., Williams, J. H., and Langhout, R. D. 2001. Incivility in the workplace: incidence and impact. Journal of occupational health psychology, 6(1), 64.

Crossley, C. D., Bennett, R. J., Jex, S. M., and Burnfield, J. L. 2007. Development of a global measure of job embeddedness and integration into a traditional model of voluntary turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(4), 1031.

Eisenberger, R., Karagonlar, G., Stinglhamber, F., Neves, P., Becker, T. E., Gonzalez-Morales, M. G., and Steiger-Mueller, M. 2010. Leader–member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95, 1085-1103.

Eisingerich, A. B., and Bell, S. J. 2008. Perceived service quality and customer trust: does enhancing customers' service knowledge matter?. Journal of service research, 10(3), 256-268.Elsbach, K. D., and Bhattacharya, C. B. 2001. Defining who you are by what you're not: Organizational disidentification and the National Rifle Association. Organization Science, 12(4), 393-413.

Erdogan, B. 2002. Antecedents and consequences of justice perceptions in performance appraisals. Human resource management review, 12(4), 555-578.

Fallatah, F., Laschinger, H. K., and Read, E. A. 2017. The effects of authentic leadership, organizational identification, and occupational coping self-efficacy on new graduate nurses' job turnover intentions in Canada. Nursing Outlook, 65(2), 172-183.

Fan, J., and Lai, L. 2014. Pre-training perceived social self-efficacy accentuates the effects of a cross-cultural coping orientation program: Evidence from a longitudinal field experiment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35(6), 831-850.

Ferreira, A. I., Ferreira, A. I., Martinez, L. F., Martinez, L. F., Lamelas, J. P., Lamelas, J. P., and Rodrigues, R. I. 2017. Mediation of job embeddedness and satisfaction in the relationship between task characteristics and turnover: A multilevel study in Portuguese hotels. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 29(1), 248-267.

Fornell, C., and Larcker, D. F. 1981. Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of marketing research, 39-50.

Fox, S., and Spector, P. E. 1999. A model of work frustration-aggression. Journal of organizational behavior, 915-931.

Griffin, B. 2010. Multilevel relationships between organizational-level incivility, justice and intention to stay. Work and Stress, 24(4), 309-323.

Haider, M. H., and Akbar, A. 2017. Internal Marketing and Employee’s Innovative Work Behavior: The Mediating Role of Job Embeddedness and Social capital. NICE Research Journal of Social Science. ISSN: 2219-4282, 10(1), 29-48.

Halbesleben, J. R. 2006. Sources of social support and burnout: a meta-analytic test of the conservation of resources model. Journal of applied Psychology, 91(5), 1134.

Halbesleben, J. R., and Bowler, W. M. 2007. Emotional exhaustion and job performance: the mediating role of motivation. Journal of applied psychology, 92(1), 93

Halbesleben, J. R., Neveu, J. P., Paustian-Underdahl, S. C., and Westman, M. 2014. Getting to the “COR” understanding the role of resources in conservation of resources theory. Journal of Management, 40(5), 1334-1364.

Hannah, S. T., Sweeney, P. J., and Lester, P. B. 2007. Toward a courageous mindset: The subjective act and experience of courage. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 2(2), 129-135.

Harvey, P., Harris, R. B., Harris, K. J., and Wheeler, A. R. 2007. Attenuating the effects of social stress: The impact of political skill. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 12(2), 105.

Ho, V. T., and Gupta, N. 2014. Retaliating against Customer Interpersonal Injustice in a Singaporean Context: Moderating Roles of Self-efficacy and Social Support. Applied Psychology, 63(3), 383-410.

Hobfoll, S. E. 1989. Conservation of resources: A new attempt at conceptualizing stress. American psychologist, 44(3), 513.

Hobfoll, S. E., and Freedy, J. 1993. Conservation of resources: A general stress theory applied to burnout.

Hodges, A. J., and Park, B. 2013. Oppositional identities: dissimilarities in how women and men experience parent versus professional roles. Journal of personality and social psychology, 105(2), 193.

Holm-Hadulla, R. M., and Koutsoukou-Argyraki, A. 2015. Mental health of students in a globalized world: Prevalence of complaints and disorders, methods and effectivity of counseling, structure of mental health services for students. Mental Health and Prevention, 3(1-2), 1-4.

Hom, P. W., Tsui, A. S., Wu, J. B., Lee, T. W., Zhang, A. Y., Fu, P. P., and Li, L. 2009. Explaining employment relationships with social exchange and job embeddedness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94, 277-297.

Hur, W. M., Hur, W. M., Moon, T., Moon, T., Jun, J. K., and Jun, J. K. 2016. The effect of workplace incivility on service employee creativity: the mediating role of emotional exhaustion and intrinsic motivation. Journal of Services Marketing, 30(3), 302-315.

Hur, W. M., Kim, B. S., and Park, S. J. 2015. The relationship between co-worker incivility, emotional exhaustion, and organizational outcomes: The mediating role of emotional exhaustion. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing and Service Industries, 25(6), 701-712.

Hussain, T., & Deery, S. (2018). Why do self-initiated expatriates quit their jobs: The role of job embeddedness and shocks in explaining turnover intentions. International Business Review, 27(1), 281-288.

Ineson, E. M., Benke, E., and László, J. 2013. Employee loyalty in Hungarian hotels. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 32, 31-39.

Itzkovich, Y., and Heilbrunn, S. 2016. The role of co-workers’ solidarity as an antecedent of incivility and deviant behavior in organizations. Deviant Behavior, 37(8), 861-876.

Jex, S. M., Bliese, P. D., Buzzell, S., and Primeau, J. 2001. The impact of self-efficacy on stressor–strain relations: Coping style as an explanatory mechanism. Journal of applied psychology, 86(3), 401.

Judge, T. A., and Bono, J. E. 2001. Relationship of core self-evaluations traits—self-esteem, generalized self-efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability—with job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of applied Psychology, 86(1), 80.

Jung, J., and Kim, Y. 2012. Causes of newspaper firm employee burnout in Korea and its impact on organizational commitment and turnover intention. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(17), 3636-3651.

Karatepe, O. M. 2013. High-performance work practices, work social support and their effects on job embeddedness and turnover intentions. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 25(6), 903-921.

Karatepe, O. M. 2016. Does job embeddedness mediate the effects of coworker and family support on creative performance? An empirical study in the hotel industry. Journal of Human Resources in Hospitality and Tourism, 15(2), 119-132.

Karatepe, O. M., and Nkendong, R. A. 2014. The relationship between customer-related social stressors and job outcomes: the mediating role of emotional exhaustion. Ekonomska istraživanja, 27(1), 414-426.

Kensbock, S., Bailey, J., Jennings, G., and Patiar, A. 2015. Sexual Harassment of Women Working as Room Attendants within 5-Star Hotels. Gender, Work and Organization, 22(1), 36-50.

Kim, M., and Beehr, T. A. 2017. Self-efficacy and psychological ownership mediate the effects of empowering leadership on both good and bad employee behaviors. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 24(4), 466-478.

Kirk, B. A., Schutte, N. S., and Hine, D. W. 2011. The effect of an expressive‐writing intervention for employees on emotional self-efficacy, emotional intelligence, affect, and workplace incivility. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41(1), 179-195.

Kline, R. B. 1998. Software review: Software programs for structural equation modeling: Amos, EQS, and LISREL. Journal of psychoeducational assessment, 16(4), 343-364.

Laschinger, H. K. S. 2008. Effect of empowerment on professional practice environments, work satisfaction, and patient care quality: Further testing the nursing worklife model. Journal of nursing care quality, 23(4), 322-330.

Lee, J. J., and Ok, C. M. 2014. Understanding hotel employees’ service sabotage: Emotional labor perspective based on conservation of resources theory. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36, 176-187.

Lim, S., and Lee, A. 2011. Work and nonwork outcomes of workplace incivility: Does family support help?. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 16(1), 95.

Lim, S., Cortina, L. M., and Magley, V. J. 2008. Personal and workgroup incivility: impact on work and health outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(1), 95.

Lim, S., Ilies, R., Koopman, J., Christoforou, P., and Arvey, R. D. 2016 Emotional mechanisms linking incivility at work to aggression and withdrawal at home: an experience-sampling study. Journal of Management, 0149206316654544.

Mackey, J. D., Bishoff, J. D., Daniels, S. R., Hochwarter, W. A., and Ferris, G. R. 2017. Incivility’s Relationship with Workplace Outcomes: Enactment as a Boundary Condition in Two Samples. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-16.

Maslach, C., and Jackson, S. E. 1996. Leiter MP Maslach Burnout Inventory Manual. Palo Alto.

Mikkelsen, E. G. E., and Einarsen, S. 2002. Basic assumptions and symptoms of post-traumatic stress among victims of bullying at work. European journal of work and organizational psychology, 11(1), 87-111.

Mitchell, T. R., Holtom, B. C., Lee, T. W., Sablynski, C. J., and Erez, M. 2001. Why people stay: Using job embeddedness to predict voluntary turnover. Academy of management journal, 44(6), 1102-1121.

Nelson, J., Nichols, T., and Wahl, J. 2017. The Cascading Effect of Civility on Outcomes of Clarity, Job Satisfaction and Caring for Patients. Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies, 4(2), 6.

Paek, S., Schuckert, M., Kim, T. T., and Lee, G. 2015. Why is hospitality employees’ psychological capital important? The effects of psychological capital on work engagement and employee morale. International journal of hospitality management, 50, 9-26.

Perrewé, P. L., Zellars, K. L., Ferris, G. R., Rossi, A. M., Kacmar, C. J., and Ralston, D. A. 2004. Neutralizing job stressors: Political skill as an antidote to the dysfunctional consequences of role conflict. Academy of Management Journal, 47(1), 141-152.

Pizam, A. 2008. Depression among foodservice employees.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., and Podsakoff, N. P. 2003. Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of applied psychology, 88(5), 879.

Porath, C. L., and Pearson, C. M. 2010. The cost of bad behavior. Organizational Dynamics, 39(1), 64-71.

Porath, C. L., and Pearson, C. M. 2012. Emotional and behavioral responses to workplace incivility and the impact of hierarchical status. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42(S1).

Reio Jr, T. G., and Sanders-Reio, J. 2011. Thinking about workplace engagement: does supervisor and coworker incivility really matter?. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 13(4), 462-478.

Roberts, S. J., Scherer, L. L., and Bowyer, C. J. 2011. Job stress and incivility: What role does psychological capital play?. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 18(4), 449-458.

Robinson, S. L., and Bennett, R. J. 1995. A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of management journal, 38(2), 555-572.

Sakurai, K., and Jex, S. M. 2012. Coworker incivility and incivility targets' work effort and counterproductive work behaviors: The moderating role of supervisor social support. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(2), 150.

Salanova, M., Lorente, L., Chambel, M. J., and Martínez, I. M. 2011. Linking transformational leadership to nurses’ extra-role performance: the mediating role of self-efficacy and work engagement. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 67(10), 2256-2266.

Schilpzand, P., De Pater, I. E., and Erez, A. 2016. Workplace incivility: A review of the literature and agenda for future research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 37(S1).

Schreurs, B., Van Emmerik, H., Notelaers, G., and De Witte, H. 2010. Job insecurity and employee health: The buffering potential of job control and job self-efficacy. Work and Stress, 24(1), 56-72.

Scott, K.L., Restubog, S.L. and Zagenczyk, T.J. 2013. “A social exchange-based model of the antecedents of workplace exclusion”, Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 37-48.

Semmer, N. K. 2003. Individual differences, work stress and health. Handbook of work and health psychology, 2, 83-120.

Shao, R., and Skarlicki, D. P. 2014. Service employees’ reactions to mistreatment by customers: A comparison between North America and East Asia. Personnel Psychology, 67(1), 23-59.

Sharma, N., and Singh, V. K. 2016. Effect of workplace incivility on job satisfaction and turnover intentions in India. South Asian Journal of Global Business Research, 5(2), 234-249.

Siu, O. L., Lu, C. Q., and Spector, P. E. 2007. Employees’ wellbeing in Greater China: the direct and moderating effects of general self-efficacy. Applied psychology, 56(2), 288-301.

Sliter, M., Sliter, K., and Jex, S. 2012. The employee as a punching bag: The effect of multiple sources of incivility on employee withdrawal behavior and sales performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(1), 121-139.

Smidt, O., De Beer, L. T., Brink, L., and Leiter, M. P. 2016. The validation of a workplace incivility scale within the South African banking industry. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 42(1), 1-12.

Taylor, S. G., and Kluemper, D. H. 2012. Linking perceptions of role stress and incivility to workplace aggression: the moderating role of personality. Journal of occupational health psychology, 17(3), 316.

Treadway, D. C., Hochwarter, W. A., Kacmar, C. J., and Ferris, G. R. 2005. Political will, political skill, and political behavior. Journal of organizational behavior, 26(3), 229-245.

Trougakos, J. P., Hideg, I., Cheng, B. H., and Beal, D. J. 2014. Lunch breaks unpacked: The role of autonomy as a moderator of recovery during lunch. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2), 405-421.

van Dinther, M., Dochy, F., and Segers, M. 2011. Factors affecting students’ self-efficacy in higher education. Educational research review, 6(2), 95-108.

Wilkerson, J. M., Evans, W. R., and Davis, W. D. 2008. A test of coworkers' influence on organizational cynicism, badmouthing, and organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 38(9), 2273-2292.

Wilson, N. L., and Holmvall, C. M. 2013. The development and validation of the Incivility from Customers Scale. Journal of occupational health psychology, 18(3), 310.

Wright, T. A., and Cropanzano, R. 1998. Emotional exhaustion as a predictor of job performance and voluntary turnover. Journal of applied psychology, 83(3), 486.

Yeung, A., and Griffin, B. 2008. Workplace incivility: Does it matter in Asia?. People and Strategy, 31(3), 14.

YİRİK, Ş., and ÖREN, D. 2014. A Study to Determine the Relationship between Job Satisfaction and Tendencies of Employees of 5 Star Hotels Operating 12 Months in Belek. Journal of Alanya Faculty of Business/Alanya Isletme Fakültesi Dergisi, 6(2).


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Gadjah Mada International Journal of Business

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.