Knowledge sharing, learning engagement and workplace incivility among research scholars: the mediating role of self-esteem

Aditi Gupta, Apoorva Apoorva, Ranjan Chaudhuri, Demetris Vrontis, Alkis Thrassou

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Purpose: Over the last two decades, there has been a significant increase in incivility within the higher education sector, potentially due to mounting pressure and demands on academics, both collectively and individually. The effects on various aspects of academia, such as knowledge and learning, however, remain largely unexplored. The purpose of this research is to fill the gap by performing a theoretical trend analysis and subsequently empirically investigating the impact of workplace incivility on research scholars’ learning engagement and knowledge sharing intentions, including the mediating role of self-esteem. Design/methodology/approach: This study uses a three-stage methodological process: first, a thorough theoretical (bibliographic) analysis of scientific publications, using Biblioshiny, to identify the trends of workplace incivility; second, an empirical, qualitative exploration of the emergent themes and subthemes based on 102 in-depth interviews with research scholars, using NVivo 12 Plus; and third, quantitative testing, using 154 responses and structural equation modeling. Findings: The authors verify a visible negative association between incivility and learning engagement, incivility and knowledge sharing intentions as well as self-esteem’s mediating effect on this relationship. Also, the thematic analysis revealed three distinct themes: the type of incivility; reasons for such incidences; and the impact of such incidences on research scholars. Research limitations/implications: The research bears implications both to theory and practice. Regarding the former, the gravity and graveness of incivility versus knowledge and learning, within the academic workplace environment, are not simply highlighted, but analyzed and refined, with explicit findings of both scholarly and practicable worth; that also provide solid foundations and avenues for future research. Originality/value: Further to its primary findings, the research contributes to extant knowledge by elucidating and explicating the topic, both theoretically and empirically, as well as by presenting implications for theory and practice. Regarding practical implications, this research sheds light on how to develop an appropriate organizational culture that facilitates learning engagement and increases knowledge sharing intentions, by nurturing the identified explicit and underlying motivators of civility.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Knowledge Management
    Publication statusPublished - 2023


    • Academia
    • Knowledge sharing
    • Learning engagement
    • Research scholars
    • Self-esteem
    • Thematic analysis
    • Workplace incivility


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