Speech and Discourse: An argument for the acknowledgement of conceptual diversity and specificity

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Purpose: Cyber incivility is a form of unsociable speech and a common daily workplace stressor. The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of cyber incivility on non-profit leaders in Canada and share an intimate portrait of their personal experiences and perceptions. Design/methodology/approach: The study advances our understanding of how qualitative methods can be introduced into the study of a phenomenon which has been broadly examined in a positivist tradition. The paper draws epistemologically and methodologically on a fusion of critical discourse analysis and auto-ethnography to present emic and experiential insights. Findings: The findings offer three conceptual contributions: to introduce a novel qualitative method to a dynamic field of study; to advance a critical dimension to our understanding of cyber incivility; and to explore the challenges which emerge when qualitative research must draw largely on positivist, quantitative literature. Additionally, this paper makes three contributions to our understanding of cyber incivility: by introducing organizational context conditions which encourage incivility; by identifying commonalities between incivility and bullying, by challenging the existing taxonomy; and by examining the personal experiences of non-profit leaders in Canada (in operationalized settings). Originality/value: Quantitative analysis has been limited to the relationship between supervisor and employee and consisted mostly of cross-sectional self-report designs, online surveys and experimental manipulation in simulated workplace environments. This study serves up a deeper analysis from within organizational environments.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on Host Communication in China
EditorsGuiwu Gao, Xiaoyu Lin
PublisherCommunication University of China Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)978-7-5657-2814-3
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2020

Publication series

NameQualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
ISSN (Print)1746-5648


  • discourse theory
  • speech communication


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