Systems Perspective for Incivility in Academia: An Integrative Review

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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.


Article publish on web ahead of print volume.