Political Orientation, Media Consumption and Workplace Incivility during the 2012 American Presidential Election



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The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which employees? election season consumption of political media affects their perception and instigation of politically-motivated workplace incivility. Participants (N = 895; 81.2% White) enrolled a multi-wave longitudinal survey during the 2012 U.S. Presidential election and completed measures of political orientation, workplace incivility, and media consumption.

Providing mixed support for our hypotheses, results indicated that consumption of pro-attitudinal political media was related to out-group mistreatment only for more conservative employees. Consumption of counter-attitudinal political media, on the other hand, was predictive of in-group mistreatment for both liberal and conservative employees. We discuss these findings in light of emerging research on political orientation as an important social identity and the unique and unstable social positions of political groups during elections.