Sandy Hershcovis

I am an associate professor of organizational behavior at the Haskayne School of Business.


The Social Isolation of Workplace Incivility

There’s been lots of research on workplace incivility, all of it showing that it adversely affects victims. Even though incivility is low in intensity and has an ambiguous intent to harm victims (Andersson & Pearson, 1999), it still leads to health problems for victims (e.g., anxiety), it contributes to negative work attitudes (less commitment, higher intentions […]

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Social Death at Work

Lately I’ve become interested in workplace ostracism as a form of workplace aggression. Most research lumps ostracism with other forms of mistreatment (incivility, bullying, etc.), but a recent chapter by Sandra Robinson and Kira Schabram (in press), has convinced me that it is in fact quite different, and possibly much more painful than other forms of workplace […]

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When Workplace Harassment is Okay…

Today the US Supreme Court ruled that workplace mistreatment only counts as job harassment if it comes from a supervisor. Apparently it’s open season for all bullies out there to go to town because when abuse comes from a coworker, responsibility for the action does not lie with the organization. What??? This ruling effectively absolves […]

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Witness Reactions to Workplace Aggression

There has been surprisingly little research that looks at how witnesses react to workplace aggression. Do they stand by and watch? Do they join in? Do they report it? Social psychological research on the “bystander effect” suggests that witnesses might not do very much. The bystander effect (Darley & Latané, 1968) refers to a large body […]

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The role of envy in social undermining behaviour

Why do people think it’s okay to undermine others? Our mother’s used to tell us “never mind them dear, they’re just jealous of you.” It seems that there was some truth to that claim. In a recent study, Duffy, Scott, Shaw, Tepper, & Aquino (2012) found that when people feel envious of others, they are […]

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Can there be fairness in bullying?

What if your boss abuses not only you, but everyone else in your work group? Will that make you feel better or worse? It turns out you are likely to feel better (or at least less bad) than if your boss (or coworkers) abuses only you. Duffy et al. (2006) found that when a focal […]

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So what can we do about workplace aggression?

Despite the large body of research that shows consistent negative effects of workplace aggression on targets and the organization, there is surprisingly little intervention research. So what can we do about workplace aggression? A recent intervention study shows that civility training seems to work. Leiter et al. (2011; 2012) showed that civility training not only […]

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