Systems Perspective for Incivility in Academia: An Integrative Review

Ann M. Stalter, Janet M. Phillips, Jeanne S. Ruggiero, Carol M. Wiggs, Josette Brodhead, Kathleen Swanson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


AIM The purpose of this integrative review was to identify evidence of systems thinking on civility in academic settings. BACKGROUND Incivility is present in academic systems, including nursing education. What is learned in academia translates to the workplace. Systems-based solutions may promote quality and safety in health care. METHOD Whittemore and Knafl's integrative approach guided this study. RESULTS Forty-nine articles were reviewed. Themes emerged describing incivility in nursing as embedded within layers of a performance-driven, oppressive hostile bureaucracy, trickling down, instilling fear, and reinforcing uncivil behavior among and between members. Other themes defined faculty-To-faculty and faculty-To-student incivilities, reasons for it, reactions to it, and suggestions for improved civility. CONCLUSION The systems awareness model is offered as a means of promoting civility in nursing education. A lack of evidence to support how incivility in academia transfers to quality and safety in practice settings is identified as a gap for future study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-150
Number of pages7
JournalNursing education perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • Academia
  • Faculty-To-Faculty
  • Incivility
  • Nursing
  • Systems Thinking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Nursing
  • Education


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