Incivility and nursing academia: Fouling the proverbial nest

Judith Anderson, Rachel Kornhaber, Sancia West, Michelle Cleary

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review


“It’s too much to expect in an academic setting that we should all agree, but it’s not too much to expect discipline and unvarying civility.” – John Howard, former Australian Prime Minister

Civility is one of those words that rings of a bygone era. It is relegated to that vocabularic archive, along with words such as ‘cravat’ and ‘whence’. Yet the very notion of civility, if not the actual use of the word in modern vernacular, is still very much applicable to present day conduct and still a central component of productive working relationships.
In the reverse, incivility or uncivil behaviour run contrary to such productive relationships and promote discord and workplace disharmony. Uncivil behaviour includes rudeness, taunting, being unapproachable, rejecting the opinions or challenging the credibility of others, harassing, or keeping people waiting (Anthony & Yastik, 2011; Authement, 2016; Cleary & Horsfall, 2010). Overt aggression and threats are obvious and thereby more easily rejected, but less overt behaviors are more open to interpretation and may be perceived as being acceptable by others or simply ignored, particularly in different contexts (Clark, 2008). Incivility encompasses inappropriate communication and a basic lackof respect and regard for others in general (Eka et al., 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1160-1162
Number of pages3
JournalIssues in Mental Health Nursing
Issue number12
Early online date01 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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