How rude is rude: an exploratory study among Australian Millennials, Generation ‘X’ and Baby Boomers mobile phone users

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Research in both Organizational Behavior and Organizational Psychology has found that incivility via mobile phone technology has reached pandemic proportions in our contemporary society with significant negative impacts including poor physical and mental health. Porath and Pearson’s incivility spiral theory posits that the low intensity nature of incivility does not exclude it from becoming a precursors of workplace violence, aggression, harassment and conflict. In fact, incivility has become even more prevalent through the advancement of technology (i.e. mobile phone), increased global interactions and cultural diversity. Despite this, there is limited understanding on the antecedents of mobile phone incivility and whether different generations of Australian mobile users perceived incivility on the phone differently. To address this gap, participants from Generation ‘Y’(Millennials), Generation ‘X’ and Baby Boomers were recruited through snowball sampling and interviewed qualitatively about their lived experiences of mobile phone incivility. Using an Interpretative Phenomenological Approach (IPA), five main themes were identified. Results also indicated that Baby Boomers and Generation ‘X’ tend to be less tolerant of technological incivility than Millennials. This suggests potential intergenerational differences among different generations of Australians, resulting in negative interpersonal interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalBehaviour and Information Technology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 May 2020


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