Document Type : Research Article



Prior research mostly covers the instigator and target perspective of workplace incivility and
overlooked the third parties’ reaction. The current research aims to examine the congruent social
emotion of the observer after witnessing the incivility toward coworkers with the lens of
affective event theory. It also examines the behavioral response of the observer due to that social
emotion. Through the time-lagged survey conducted in the service industry, the results showed
that vicarious workplace incivility was positively associated with empathy towards a coworker,
that emotion is further positively associated with helping behavior towards victims. This
relationship is moderated by gender, such that females are more sensitive towards incivility.
Third parties experience positive social emotions of empathy and try to buffer the situation
through helping behavior. Our findings try to examine the interpersonal, target -directed
outcomes of vicarious workplace incivility. The results of the study contribute to both theory and