Ayatakshee Sarkar

Restoring Human Dignity: Exploring Restorative Practices to Address Workplace Incivility Among Indian Professionals

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Religious studies
  • Strategy and Management
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Human dignity is an absolute inner value possessed by all humans. In the workplace, due to the prevalence of negative behaviors, human dignity often becomes a target for erosion. Accordingly, the author argues that human dignity is the most profoundly affected aspect amidst all the resulting consequences. Through in-depth interviews with 18 working professionals who have experienced the impact of uncivil behavior from superiors, peers, and subordinates, this paper demonstrates how they have employed the strategy of passive resistance responses as a means to restitute their dignity. The restoration of dignity has, in turn, been shown to significantly enhance their overall well-being. On the theoretical front, this paper introduces the concept of 'dignity defense' as a central theme, which has enabled them to adopt a wide range of passive resistance mechanisms – ranging from temporal deflection, delayed responses, reflective pauses, competence building, the use of humour, knowledge gathering, diplomatic inquiry, to evidence-based communication. Overall, this study distinguishes passive resistance responses from active confrontational responses and theoretically anchors passive resistance responses within the context of Eastern and Western philosophies.

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