Assessing civility at an academic health science center: Implications for employee satisfaction and well-being

Lisa A. Campbell, Jenna R. LaFreniere, Mhd Hasan Almekdash, David D. Perlmutter, Huaxin Song, Patricia J. Kelly, Rohali Keesari, Kay Leigh Shannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Incivilities are pervasive among workers in healthcare institutions. Previously identified effects include deterioration of employee physical and mental health, absenteeism, burnout, and turnover, as well as reduced patient safety and quality of care. This study documented factors related to organizational civility at an academic health sciences center (AHSC) as the basis for future intervention work. We used a cross-sectional research design to conduct an online survey at four of five campuses of an AHSC. Using the Organizational Civility Scale (OCS), we assessed differences across gender, race (White and non-White) and job type (faculty or staff) in the eleven subscales (frequency of incivility, perceptions of organizational climate, existence of civility resources, importance of civility resources, feelings about current employment, employee satisfaction, sources of stress, coping strategies, overall levels of stress/coping ability, and overall civility rating). Significant gender differences were found in six of the eleven subscales: perception of organizational climate (p < .001), existence of civility resources (p = .001), importance of civility resources (p < .001), frequency of incivilities (p < .001), employee satisfaction (p = .002), and overall civility rating (p = .007). Significant differences between respondents by self-identified race were found only in one subscale: existence of civility resources (p = .048). Significant differences were found between faculty and staff in four subscales: perception of organizational climate (p = .001), importance of civility resources (p = .02), employee satisfaction (p = .01), and overall levels of stress (p = .03). Results suggest that gender and employment type differences exist in the perception of organizational climate at the academic health center, while significant racial differences only occurred in reference to reported existence of civility resources. Attention to these differences should be incorporated into the development of programs to address the problem.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0247715
JournalPloS one
Issue number2 Feburary
StatePublished - Feb 2021


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