Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 27, Issue 4, pp 407–420 | Cite as

Assessing Workgroup Norms for Civility: The Development of the Civility Norms Questionnaire-Brief

  • Benjamin M. WalshEmail author
  • Vicki J. Magley
  • David W. Reeves
  • Kimberly A. Davies-Schrils
  • Matthew D. Marmet
  • Jessica A. Gallus



This research describes the development and validation of the Civility Norms Questionnaire-Brief (CNQ-B), a 4-item measure designed to assess workgroup climate for civility. Climate for civility is defined as employee perceptions of norms supporting respectful treatment among workgroup members.


Five samples (N = 2,711) of adult employees, including two from distinct organizations and three from multiple organizations, responded to the CNQ-B and additional measures.


Evidence for the internal consistency, and convergent and discriminant validity of the CNQ-B was observed. Additionally, evidence for the criterion-related and incremental validity of the CNQ-B was demonstrated as it was a significant predictor of later-assessed incivility experiences and accounted for significant variability in work attitudes beyond incivility experiences and related measures.


The CNQ-B is a psychometrically sound instrument despite being composed of only four items. The CNQ-B can be used by researchers and practitioners alike to assess climate for civility, to study climate for civility as a precursor to incivility experiences, and to target workgroups that could benefit from interventions (e.g., training) to enhance civility and reduce incivility.


This is one of the first studies to conduct a rigorous psychometric assessment of a measure of workgroup climate for civility that is grounded in theory and research on workplace civility and incivility. At four items, the CNQ-B is the shortest assessment tool currently available that is designed for this purpose.


Workplace incivility Workplace civility Workplace norms Climate Scale development 



This research was supported in part by Grant Number 5T01OH008610-07 awarded to Vicki Magley from CDC-NIOSH. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of NIOSH.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin M. Walsh
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Vicki J. Magley
    • 1
  • David W. Reeves
    • 1
  • Kimberly A. Davies-Schrils
    • 1
  • Matthew D. Marmet
    • 1
  • Jessica A. Gallus
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  2. 2.Department of ManagementUniversity of Illinois SpringfieldSpringfieldUSA

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