Philosophy of Management

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 249–271 | Cite as

Respect as a Moral Response to Workplace Incivility

  • Leslie SekerkaEmail author
  • Marianne Marar Yacobian


With the rise of incivility in organizational settings, coupled with an increase in discriminatory behavior around the world, we explain how these concerns have merged to become a pervasive workplace ethical issue. An ethical-decision making model is presented that is designed to help employees address issues of incivility with a moral response action, using Islamophobia and/or anti-Muslimism as an example. By adopting a proactive moral strength-based approach to embrace and address this issue, we hope to promote respect while also mitigating the lack of its presence. We explicate potential cognitive and affective influences that support an organizational member’s desire and decision to respond to incivility in a reverential manner. Given the propensity for employees to turn away, become apathetic, or to simply ignore wrongdoing, scholars need to illustrate how a path to respectful behavior can be achieved. Our model highlights variables like group norms and anticipated emotions, punctuated by different forms of self-regulation. A Kantian view, underscoring the worth of every person, underpins our appeal.


Anti-Muslimism Incivility Ethical decision-making Respect 



Special thanks go to the reviewing team, as their comments and feedback contributed to the development of this research. Gratitude is also extended to Dr. Richard Bagozzi, as his scholarship and mentoring made this work possible.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menlo CollegeAthertonUSA

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