Psychological Contract Disruptions by Uncivil Behavior


  • Tiina Brandt Haaga-Helia UAS
  • Anna Ruohonen Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences



Uncivil behavior, narcistic behavior, psychological contract


This research focuses the conceptualization and modeling of psychological contract (PC) dynamics in co-worker communication under the conditions of counterproductive or uncivil behavior acting as a PC disruption. It also studies differences of individual responses when having the exposure of the difficult person behavior. A sample of 98 experienced working professionals responded to an open-ended questionnaire regarding the difficult person behavior in their place of work. The content analysis was used as analyzing method.  Findings indicated that different strategies that people employed in repairing PC following a negative disruption were identified. These included the call to supervisors for mediation, launching a straightforward opposition to contain difficult person behavior, using acquiescence and accommodation as tactics, responding with avoidance and/or praise. According to analyzes the dynamics of PC-model impacted by uncivil disruption is presented.  The results of the research benefit organizational leaders and HR in facilitating the processes of organizational support of supervisors in mitigating negative PC disruptions that are caused by difficult person behavior. This study is among the firsts when studying different individual responses when facing uncivil behavior and this study fulfils this gap. This study extends the psychological contract theory, showing how the uncivil behavior impacts on PC.