Document Type : Original Article


Master of Public Administration, Sixth grade teacher, Iran


In this new millennium, organizations across the globe still raise many issues of human relations. Some issues include racism, sexual orientation, workplace violence, interpersonal conflict, etc. Many of the scientific fields of interest to theorists have studied these problems. One of the most recent organizational issues that has paid a lot of attention to attracted a lack of work or the same indignity and incivility at work. Civility at the workplace has been less noticeable investigating incivility, such a negative impact. The behavior of employees on the basis of efficiency, productivity, and productivity is reduced by time. Despite the increasing research, it has been shown that incivility is a problem in today's organizations. In this regard, 22 managers of public organization were interviewed as semi-structured method and analyzed in three stages of open, axial, and selective coding. This analysis led to the formation of 164 concepts, 17 categories, and 8 propositions that comprise the final model of research based on the Strauss and Corbin (1990) model of paradigm. The results indicate that organizational civility as a central issue and in interaction with cultural and value drivers (causal conditions), organizational support (interventional conditions), orbital planning (background or context), individual and organizational actions (strategies of action), and organizational productivity (outcomes). The interaction of these factors is shown in the final model of the research. In the end, based on this model, suggestions are given for processing the concept of organizational civility in public sector.


Main Subjects


One of the social norms that is closely related to individual ethics is the norm of respecting others. Respect becomes important in the teachings of the Quran because it is closely related to the issue of human dignity [1]. This means that not complying with this norm means violating human dignity. In fact, human dignity requires each person to treat others in a way that humanity requires. If bullying exists as a problem in organizations, as the researchers proved it, a question arises; what can organizations do to prevent incivility or reduce it?

Therefore, the purpose of this research is to find out if employees consider job dissatisfaction as a problem, or not? If so, how do they believe their role in developing a noble organization is? What are the organization's responsibilities in creating a noble environment? Research has been done to find solutions to make organizations politer. During the past twenty years of research, I have studied the costs of neglecting decency and the benefits of being civil. Being civil in general is good for everyone, it increases your influence and effectiveness, and if you are polite, you are more easily accepted as a manager. Being polite is not only for your benefit, it is for the benefit of all those around you. After studying the behavior and surveying more than twenty thousand employees, I found that as a manager of an organization, if you are looking to create a sense of commitment and cooperation in your employees, you need to adhere to several principles, the most important of which is the principle of "Respect". Baker and Ellen Ashtrod (2015) even factors such as considering employees, appreciating them, providing them with useful feedback, and even creating training and learning opportunities are not as decisive as the respect factor [2]. Recording behaviors will help you get closer to the strategy of avoiding dishonorable behaviors and mastering yourself. After applying some of these strategies, see if this happened to your "Civilized self" or not. Check your progress one step at a time. Of course, it's not a one-way street, and while you're taking control of yourself and your behavior with others, and working to correct your misbehavior, ask your team members to do the same.  Discuss with your team members and look for ways to build mutual respect [1].

Identify times when you behaved uncivilly and see how you could have been better. Find out what the positive results of respecting your work team are. Once a behavioral norm is formed, be committed to complying with it. Each of you can be your own coach and help yourself and each other to increase the performance of your team. The key to noble behavior is to achieve self-knowledge and self-awareness. If you are aware of your behavior, you can change it in a way that increases your influence and efficiency in the organization. Sometimes small actions lead to big results. Your noble behavior flows like a waterfall throughout the organization and waters everyone [1].

Very little is known about the new concept or the redefined concept of decency. I have chosen two theorists to highlight current and different thoughts on decency:

Both Stephen Carter and Scott Peck have written and published books that focus on proposals for a new way of looking at decency.

Carter challenges decency from a democratic viewpoint, while Peck examines it from a sociological perspective. After examining these two views separately, the applicable elements of both are combined to form a theory about organizational decency. The aim is to connect these ideas and apply them to an organizational context before examining the views of employees at work. A review of contrasting definitions of decency will be studied as a point of departure for the analysis of two different, yet common, democratic, and sociological views of decency. Politeness, like its historical definition, is a matter of customs. In Webster's dictionary and the college dictionary (1999), decency is defined as modesty, decency, and humble behavior. There is another definition entitled: "Self-monitoring signaling method" [5].

Lynn Anderson and Christine Pearson (1999) first analyzed bullying in the workplace. But finally, they defined politeness in the workplace as "Behavior that helps maintain mutual norms in the workplace".

Another definition of decency shows "The balance of animal desires". A person can achieve a favorable balance between his needs that demand satisfaction, fulfillment, and the limitations that are imposed on them. It is a balance between the general demands of human existence on the one hand and his personal needs and desires on the other hand [6].

Stephen Carter (1998), whose work is based on democratic decency, defines decency as: "The sum of the sacrifices we make for each other in order to make a better life."

Likewise, he considers this definition appropriate as: "Moral competence to keep citizens together with respect". Finally, Scott Peck (1993) defines society's decency as: "Organizational behavior with conscious motives and moral submission to a higher power".


The basic commonalities in these definitions are

1- Creating a balance between individual and collective demands,

2- Moral, spiritual behavior, and

3- Respect for others.

These common aspects form the basis of decency. With these definitions as a starting point, this analysis will examine the two views on decency mentioned earlier. Stephen Carter's (1998) thoughts on the democratic aspect of decency are summarized in 10 rules that we examine as they relate to organizational decency:

1-"Our duty is to be noble towards others and it does not depend on whether we like them or not".

This rule may be subtly reversed. People have a duty to behave politely even to those they do not like. Politeness should be the least sign of behavior in social relations, while Carter clearly states that there are different levels and dimensions of love. I obviously love my wife more than my co-workers, but I have to treat my co-workers with respect regardless of whether I like them or not.

2- "Decency requires that we ignore not only those we know, but also strangers".

Waiver, as mentioned, is the most important element of decency. In this case, Carter emphasizes that politeness and tolerance are about dealing with strangers [5].

3-"Generosity is an important part of decency". Generosity even when there is cost and danger.

If people are to be noble, they must be generous with noble acts, not only when they feel good, but also when it costs them. The example that Stephen Carter used was in 1969 when he was a child and he and his family moved to a white neighborhood. He knew that no one would welcome them and they regretted the move. No one had come to welcome the new family. One night, while sitting in the front yard, he saw a lady who had just returned from work greeted him and after a few minutes came in with food.

What he brought to the new neighbors was a welcome sign to the community. It is obvious that Stephen Carter has never forgotten his neighbor, but he uses this story to evaluate an issue above cost. At what cost does this neighbor increase his cost? No one else in the neighborhood clearly wanted the Carters there. It might have cost his other friends, no one really knew, but he did what he knew to be decency.

Carter also used this example to explain trust when there is risk. The woman who had befriended them didn't know what would happen when she went to the Carters' house and what she would encounter, and she didn't know if they would welcome her or not, but she believed that her generosity would not go unanswered. It is a simple noble act that is answered with a similar act of generosity and trust.

4- "Politeness is a definite duty to do good deeds".

This is a significant point, often people think that their behavior is appropriate as long as they do not harm anyone, and often harmful behavior is accompanied by suffering and physical abuse. Carter reminds us that although the people of a community try to behave nobly and their responsibility is to do this noble behavior well, not just to avoid suffering and harming others. This is an important approach because decency is not about avoidance or denial, but about affirmation.

5- "Decency requires a commitment to a common moral life. Therefore, we should try to follow the norms of the society if the norms are not actually immoral".

This is another rule that has important implications for organizational decency and should be further explained. Organizations are law-abiding societies. Appropriate polite behavior usually means that the members of organization should obey the rules. Breaking the rules is bad. For example, civil disobedience is normal in American society. Decency forces members of society to challenge and change immoral rules. Sacrifice for the common good of society or organizations is important.

6-"We should respect the presence of our countrymen with a sense of trust and gratitude".

It means that people consider themselves significant and important, so they should imagine those they see in the same way. Humans on this planet, unlike animals, should feel special and unique. Every human being is not inferior or superior to another. It doesn't matter if a person has a religious or secular point of view, the color of a person's skin doesn't matter, age or gender should not be conditions for respecting or disrespecting. The only important point is that all persons deserve equal respect and dignity as members of the human race.

7-"Politeness means that we have differences of opinion: We don't need to hide differences, but we have to resolve them with respect."

This is one of those rules that can be easily misunderstood. Being noble does not mean that a person has to put aside their feelings or that people can live together without disagreement. Indeed, decency, according to Carter, requires people to disagree with things they don't believe is a moral right. The important difference is in the dispute process and this dispute resolution process should be noble. Personal attacks are unnecessary for someone who cannot prove anything through argument [7].

8-"Dignity is that we listen to others, even if they are right, we are wrong."

When people are faced with a situation where their thoughts and opinions may be wrong. This change in how they react changes the circumstances of dispute and this allows the person to listen and reason better. This situation often happens in cases where a person thinks they are right. They kill any potential argument that is against their opinion.

9- "Dignity requires that respect for others is manifested in us."

This law is related to the way people communicate. Stephen Carter states in a simple language: The harsh, hateful, and violent words that have infiltrated the society do not help the conversation and are often used with anger and hatred. In the political and legal systems of America, there is no control over hate speech. For some reasons, it is necessary to use the language that is a sign of our respect for others. In this new millennium in America, words are used that are violent and hateful. There needs to be a counter to this trend before they forget how to speak respectfully to each other.

10-"Politeness allows us to criticize each other and sometimes it is needed, but criticism should always be polite."

The problem with many arguments and disagreements is that few people know how to politely criticize. This is one of our problems in not being able to communicate with each other. For example, in America there are very few examples of noble disagreements. Politicians, artists, and sports people on TV are among these examples. We should not forget that there are few people like Martin Luther King Jr and Mahatma Gandi who participate very noble in the disputes. They believed that people can and should have differences of opinion, but they should express it in a noble way. While Carter approaches decency from a democratic point of view, Pack examines it from a civil point of view. M. Scott Peck (1993) wrote a book entitled: "A World Waiting to Be Born: Decency Discovered."

Research methodology

In this research, the foundation's data conceptualization strategy is used. Conceptualization of foundation data is one of the methods in qualitative research, and instead of focusing on the deductive approach, the inductive approach is the basis of theorizing. In other words, currently, in the comparative approach, after reviewing the research literature, researchers determine the conceptual framework and use tools (questionnaire, interview, etc.) to test theory or model. However, in the data conceptualization method, the foundation of the model is directly extracted from the core of the data and does not emerge from the literature review [1]. In other words, in this strategy, the conceptual model of the research is extracted from the data and with an inductive approach. In the following, this approach is fully explained.


Table 1. Study trends in qualitative research method (Source: Mohammadi, 2008:25)


History research


Data conceptualizations


Case Study


The center of attention with the main purpose

Collecting stories, anecdotes, or descriptions of life experiences

Real understanding of experiences that are based on phenomena

Theorizing based on data collected from the research field

Description and interpretation of cultural and social groups

In-depth analysis of the existing case or cases

Root and origin









Cultural anthropology


Political science


evaluation of urban studies

and other humanities

Information gathering

Mainly interviews and documents

Long interviews up to 10 people

Interviewing about 20-30 people until the saturation of categories and presenting theory

Mainly observing and interviewing subjects during a long stay in the scene (for example, 6 months to a year)

Multiple sources: archived documents, interviews, observation of physical signs, quantitative data

Data analysis

Presenting stories, narratives, anecdotes, topics, and description of content

Expression of meanings

Meaningful themes

General description of experiences


Data with coding

in three ways:

Open coding, selective focus

Description of thematic analysis

Interpretation and interpretation

Description of themes and statements

Descriptive or final form of the report

Description of life story

Person in chronological order

Description (principle or essence) of experiences

Theory or theoretical model

Describe the behavior and cultural practices of an individual or group

An in-depth study of the case or cases



Research conceptual model

Concerning the fact that the purpose of this research is to process the concept of organizational decency in government institutions, compare it with common models, and present a final model. Therefore, it needs a framework to identify various components of the mentioned theory or model, and then to understand the relationships between each one of them should be concerned. Therefore, in line with the foundation data theory strategy, in this research, the paradigm model, which was presented by Strauss and Corbin (1990) for the formation of a theory, was used to identify the components of the aforementioned model and their relationships. The main purpose of this model is to help the researcher to think systematically about the components of a theory or model. As it was mentioned, the ultimate goal in the fundamental theorizing method is theoretical analysis or finally presenting the theory, and this is what is done in the final stage, which is selective coding. In open coding, concepts are identified first and then categories. In the next stage, that is, the axial coding, the categories are organized, in other words, the categories are connected to each other using the paradigm [9].

The main components of this model are presented in the diagram below. The main category (such as a central idea or event) is defined as phenomenon 1 and other categories are associated with this main category. Causal conditions are cases and events that lead to the creation and development of the phenomenon. Context 3 refers to a special set of conditions in which the phenomenon is located. Action or confrontation strategies 4 refers to actions and responses that occur as a result of the phenomenon, and finally the results (wanted or unwanted) of these actions and responses refer to the consequences [10]. The paradigm model was initially presented by Strauss and Corbin, which in addition to the above five components includes the conditions of the intervener (Strauss and Corbin, 2008: 34). In the present study, this six-component model was the basis of the researcher.


Information analysis method

In qualitative research, concept formation is a major part of data analysis and begins during data collection. Data analysis is the main focus of foundation data theory research (Danai Fard et al., 2007:146). Conceptualization is the method by which the qualitative researcher organizes and understands the data. Data analysis means creating important, suitable, and meaningful categories along with establishing some kind of ratio and relationship between them. Based on this, it can be mentioned that analysis means discovering new patterns in data and organizing information in a meaningful way. Analysis means disassembling information after gathering and reorganizing it into a new and convincing form. In other words, data analysis means reducing and reducing them into a controllable set, and then interpreting them [11].

In other words, qualitative data analysis is an attempt to express a general opinion about the relationships between classes of data that establish the foundation of a theory [12]. Data analysis in qualitative research is a process that requires trying to know the themes (concepts and categories) formally and making and addressing hypotheses (issues) as it emerges from the data, and also is an effort to show and confirm them. Unlike other research methods, in the qualitative research method, the intention is to show that the hypotheses (theorems and relationships between them) are likely to be true (justified and acceptable), not to test or prove them [11].


Cultural and value drivers (causal conditions)

Among the extracted categories, cultural and sports stimuli have been proposed as the main key of decency. Public sector managers in Iran, based on their religious teachings and beliefs, consider selfless service to the people as a form of worship and even one of the most important forms of worship, and they are willing to make sacrifices in this way. They have performed their duties with the intention of being close to God and with the hope of enjoying spiritual works, and since they consider their management position as a divine test, they consider themselves responsible before God and have a kind of internal supervision and self-control.

These factors make their way of thinking based on the provision and realization of people's interests, as the main owners of the trust of management entrusted to them for some time, formed, and so-called noble. Regarding the weight of managerial responsibility in the public sector, M. 18 believes that:

At a point, the organization stops being polite when it comes to the conclusion that being impolite has more value, and if some of the human resources of the organization do not adhere to ethics and law, they will easily engage in impolite behavior. The macro-behavior or the main structure of organization determines that decency is value or non-value; whichever is the value, the greater percentage of the organization's personnel will be drawn towards it.

The same sense of heavy responsibility and the test of assuming a management position in the public sector creates an attitude that makes a person work harder to fulfill his duties. In this case, M4 says: Performing tasks with consideration of conscience and purity of intention, and of course from full knowledge is the definition of decency (M4Q4).

On the other hand, the basic emphasis and attention to these religious, belief foundations, and their spiritual effects and blessings causes managers to consider their personal material and economic issues in the next priorities and mostly in the final levels of priorities. Based on the same religious principles, the manager of the public sector does not consider his position as a bait for individual economic baggage and a way to secure his false financial interests, but rather as a trust whose main owners are the general public. In this way, he becomes firmer in his determination to realize public interests and strengthens his noble attitude. As an example, M3 believes:

Creating commitment and responsibility towards the organization, moral responsibility, and work ethics suitable with Islamic religious principles and the ability to implement Islamic management in the organization is one of the consequences of organizational decency (M3Q9).

This acceptance of responsibility makes the personal economic interests of the manager appear less important in his opinion. Several interviewees have commented on this and confirm this claim. M 17, says:

In no way should trustworthiness, monotony, and primacy of spiritual interests over material and responsibility be violated; but if the execution of justice is not done correctly, it will cause discouragement and loss of work motivation, and if there is no mutual respect, it will lead to the coldness of relationships (M17S4).

Behavior patterns of imams in this regard, the theoretical and practical life of Imam Rahel (may God have mercy on him) and the position of supreme leader and other personalities are influential factors that have been mentioned in the statements of some managers. In this case, M14 has stated as follows:

Decency can be practiced in the Islamic culture and society and the models we can take from the innocent imams in the process of life and work, which will lead to less sin and more work activity. Correct ethics are also practiced in China and Japan. During Seyyed Jamaloddin Asadabadi's trip to Europe, he saw that they do not lie, do not oversell, are modest, and committed in their work.

He declared that he saw honesty, prosperity, and righteousness in a Christian country. However, my country has deceit and lies, but the name of our religion is Muslim. Today, the inefficiency of managers, officials and employees is a deplorable phenomenon. The lack of growth and development of organizations and the country is the reason why problems have arisen for the national economy. Goods and services have become very expensive; this is quite evident (M14S4).


Organizational decency (core category)

As mentioned earlier, the central category is an idea, concept, or phenomenon that is the basis and axis of the process. According to the issue of organizational decency, two categories (background and competence) and (self-control) under the general title of "Organizational decency" were selected as central categories. Public sector managers with an attitude of decency, strive to serve the people, compensating for public backwardness, reducing people's problems, realizing social justice, doing public affairs, fulfilling the duty of citizenship, client satisfaction, and such things as their top priority, and in their activities and decisions, they always try to prioritize public interests over personal interests make a person a target.


  Organizational support (intervening conditions)

Intervening conditions include factors that affect actions. These factors can exist inside or outside the organization. To carry out the actions that stem from their decency, the managers of the public sector necessarily need to be accompanied by agents inside and outside the organization. Action strategies that managers adopt in line with organizational decency will be affected by these factors. In this research, intra-organizational empathy and the guiding role of human interactions and human relations were four internal and external categories raised in the form of intervening conditions. In the statements of the managers of the public sector, the level of cooperation of subordinate employees as well as superior managers and the role of this cooperation in creating and strengthening organizational decency have been repeatedly emphasized. Some interviewees considered the presence of expert employees as an influential factor in their will to achieve organizational decency, in this case M22 admits that: We should be able to admit to all people in the form of a knowledge management program that most of the capital of the organization is the specialized and skilled human resources that are unrepeatable, and your technical knowledge and knowledge that is not in any authority and has been through trial, error, and years of effort has reached you a lot. It is the capital of the organization. We should prepare a form and ask the employees for their opinions to give us information about the activities, damages, challenges, and threats of the system and what kind of weakness the system suffers, and listen to their suggestions [1].

And in interview 15, we see that it was stated: The existence of specific rules and guidance systems for clients and the smoothness of providing services to clients also reduce tensions between clients and employees and cause relaxation and strengthen organizational attachment. The emotional connection of officials and employees, proper nutrition, sufficient light in the environment, welfare services, etc. causes organizational attachment, and thus provides organizational decency.

He says about empathy in interview 2: If there is no uniformity, honesty, empathy, work commitment, and work ethics in the organization (i.e. the organization has not been successful in practice) and satisfaction cannot be seen in the behavior of employees and beneficiaries, there is no color of decency in the organization.

Regarding intimacy and friendship, interview 17 states: All-inclusive decency creates a clean organization in terms of moral virtues and an energizing and motivating work environment, working in a noble organization increases productivity and effectiveness and causes intimacy and solidarity, and this causes synergy and productivity increases.

Respecting one's appearance is one of the important aspects of human interactions, which we see in interview 3: Respect for the character and background of the personnel, coherent system to get good results to act on the key words of honesty, justice and transparency, up-to-date technology of reward, and punishment systems and appropriate disciplinary committee to achieve the desired goals of the organization can manager's tool should be effective in developing and strengthening noble behaviors in the organization.

The guiding role of manager is also a very important category, which includes the leadership and being a role model for the manager, adjusting power seeking, etc. Regarding these topics, it was stated in interviews 16, 14, and 2: The behavior of organization’s manager is the most key factor because the employees follow the example of the manager and when the manager can resolve conflicts, calm down, solve problems, make good decisions and be patient, he has the power to coordinate the forces. All the forces behave fairly and reasonably. They are attached to the manager and follow his example [4].

Leadership in organizations integrates organizational needs and goals with change and dynamism that it creates in the work environment and directs in the right direction and prevents wrong consequences. Adjusting the power seeking of organizational managers with monitoring and control in organizations become a polite behavior in organizations. The effect that the manager's feedback (that is, the person who has been identified as a model of organizational decency) has on the work done by the organization and people and the benefits that people will get from this movement can cause the spread of decency in the organization.


Orbital obligation (ruling context and platform)

Context includes specific conditions that influence action strategies. Of course, since it is difficult to distinguish context from causal conditions, usually highly related variables are placed under causal conditions and less related variables under context and context. According to the results of this research, the two categories of meritocracy and ethics form the basis of action strategies that the manager gives in response to organizational decency. Merit education can appear in various cases, including role clarity, strengthening cultural beliefs, strengthening organizational sweat, and standard service exams. In these cases, interviews 12, 14, 15, and 3 say: Lack of mutual understanding by employees, dissatisfaction of clients, confusion of roles and duties, reduction of productivity and loss of trust between employees, and neglecting each other's problems are signs of lack of decency in the organization. We will see positive effects; values and discipline will prevail, facilities will be saved, justice will prevail, we will see religious beliefs, belief in resurrection, work conscience, and self-restraint in the individual and society. To the growth and development of organizations. Likewise, it helps to solve the problems of the obstacles facing the organization. If decency prevails, loyalty, trustworthiness, truthfulness, and fear of God will increase in organizations. Organizations will go towards improving the quality and quantity of their products and services. The officials of any organization can strengthen the attachment of their employees to the organization by motivating and strengthening the organizational sweat. The services that the organization provides to the employees, the favorable organizational atmosphere and even the physical environment of the organization are effective in strengthening the attachment and organizational decency.

Dishonesty and transparency are signs of lack of decency in the organization. In order for noble behaviors to be formed in the organization, a mechanism should be considered, such as recruitment tests to attract capable personnel in line with work goals and replacing rules instead of relationships. The expert force makes the scientific work not progress and the rents enter the collection and there is no decency left for the organization. Among the other background factors extracted in this research, ethics and its impact on the actions taken by the public sector manager in response to the central category. According to the statements of the interviewees, this effect can be positive or negative, some of which have mentioned these effects. For example, interviews 12 and 7, respectively, state as follows:

The manager is an important person in the formation and strengthening of decency in the organization, firstly, having organizational decency in the manager himself and secondly, valuing decency in the work environment by the manager in his behavior with employees is very important by introducing behavioral patterns, creating motivation in this way that people who are morally and behaviorally noble are introduced to others in the organization on various occasions. A workshop is held to create polite behaviors and these behaviors are introduced to people, polite behaviors can be strengthened.


  Individual and organizational actions (action strategies)

These strategies express targeted behaviors, activities, and interactions adopted in response to the central category and under the influence of intervening conditions and prevailing context. In the issue of organizational decency in the public sector, according to the central category (organizational decency), the ruling context and the intervening conditions, it is possible to create and develop internal reforms. Based on the results of this research, the manager of the government organization, with a correct understanding of the requests of the clients of the public sector and acknowledging the existence of bureaucracy (waste) in these organizations, to realize the public interest as much as possible and increase the satisfaction of clients, performs activities that reduce Zayed's bureaucracy in government offices will be under his management. In this regard, the timeliness of directives and instructions, their smoothness, the elimination of legal inadequacies as much as possible, the effort to increase the independence, and freedom of action of managers, the reduction of burdensome laws and deregulation have come to the aid of the director of government organization and to the actions that cause the decency of his organization appear [10].


  In the topic of strategic decency, interviews 14 and 22 give examples

Identifying opportunities and threats, environmental conditions, choosing suitable options in the implementation of development programs, creating social, spiritual, and integrated motivations with an anthropological and Islamic perspective, dividing work among employees in the appropriate process to prevent disturbances which in the environment of society and organizations, which is created in a perceptual and practical way, can be decently effective for changing the organizational atmosphere. Leadership in organizations combines the needs and goals of the organization with the change and dynamism that it creates in the work environment and guides the right direction and prevents wrong consequences. Adjusting the power seeking of organizational managers with supervision and control in organizations becomes a decent behavior in organizations.

To change the organizational atmosphere from abnormality to decency, honesty, efficiency, and ethics, attention to the organizational capability of employees should be created in an environment full of understanding. This environment should work together to achieve organizational development and good organizational behavior among employees. Instead of running away from the law, if we have a proper organizational behavior, the national economy will flourish, the gross national product will be restored, development and growth will flourish, and good living conditions will be provided for the people.

When the goals and strategies are defined, it means that we have strengthened decent behavior in the system, that is, we have forced people to observe moral principles and individual discipline in the form of an evolved program, that individual discipline brings collective discipline, such as conversation etiquette, organizational behavior is normalized and trusted by everyone.


Human-centered productivity (consequence or result)

Some categories express the results and consequences that arise as a result of the interactions between other categories in actions, intervening conditions, context, and the central category. The result of the model extracted in this research is organizational productivity, which is manifested in cases such as employee excellence, inclusive justice, and love for work.


Regarding the category of "Inclusive justice", we can refer to interview 3

The manager should start from himself and with his attitude and personality, he can transfer the attitude culture to the whole system. The honesty and transparency in his work, the lack of concealment, the justice he can establish in the system, and the discipline can to create decency in the work environment. To spread decency in the organization, there should be honesty and transparency. The executive procedure is such that you can be able to promote and establish justice in different systems, a system that analyzes justice and implements it. In the real sense, let you understand and be sure that you can implement justice have up-to-date technology and systems that can analyze the forces according to their performance and the outputs of these programs can achieve justice [3].


Or we read in interview 1

Injustice, the same work, not paying the same amount, unfairness in behavior and dealings, a person goes crazy and shows rude behavior. It is also mentioned in interview 3. Injustice and the lack of motivation in this case and the lack of transparency make employees lose their work motivation and try to do something against justice. Violation of trust and fairness, violence manifests itself in work, and the tolerance of employees lost.

Regarding the category of employee excellence, examples are mentioned in interviews 14, 16, and 22: If we consider decency as an organizational policy and strategy, we can bring organizations to the growth and excellence of employees, produce, and change cultural beliefs. It is very important, it is important, the problems and obstacles of work should be solved by training; Problem solving method, decision-making skills, conflict resolution skills, emotional intelligence components, etc. colleagues should be taught to develop decent behaviors. We should be able to admit to all people in the form of a knowledge management program that most of the capital of organization is the specialized and skilled human forces that are unrepeatable and your technical knowledge and knowledge that is not in any reference and is subject to trial and error. The efforts of many years have reached you. It is the capital of the organization. We must prepare a form and ask the employees for their opinions to give us information about the activities, injuries, challenges, and threats of the system and what kind of weakness the system suffers, and listen to their suggestions.

And regarding the category of love for work, we see in interview 19: Since the love of work is the first word in noble behavior, the interest in work should be created in the subordinates, and this interest is the source of the next steps. The most key, effective, and efficient factor that causes the spread of decency is love for work, and being a role model for a manager is very effective and useful, and if this work is done expertly, what do flowers look like.


Theoretical theorems of the theory of organizational decency in the public sector

Based on extracting the effective factors of organizational performance from the interviews conducted with public sector managers and classifying and coding them and identifying the interactions between these factors in the form of concepts and categories, the story of these factors can be considered as a process that in managers of the public sector with organizational decency, in the context of commitment and with the support of organizations, under the influence of cultural-value bases, try to improve their motivation and their subordinates to serve the people and the productivity of the organization.

The theory of "Organizational decency in the public sector" expresses a process indicating how decency with the support of religious and religious foundations will lead to the efficiency of government organizations. This theory was extracted based on the paradigm model and includes eight theorems that show the relationship between the extracted categories. These issues are raised as follows:

Theorem 1: Cultural-value stimuli such as purity of intention, God-centeredness, and strictness-centeredness create and strengthen decency in the organization.

Theorem 2: Politeness with emphasis on background, competence, and self-control cause action towards some individual and organizational actions.

Theorem 3: Sufficient bureaucracy allocation and organizational productivity strengthen individual and organizational actions.

Theorem 4: Organizational supports including intra-organizational empathy and the role of the manager, human interactions, and organizational relationships affect individual and organizational actions as intervening conditions.

Theorem 5: The manager of the public sector with measures such as reducing bureaucracy (waste), trying to improve individual competences, trying to improve the competences of employees and establishing (as far as possible) meritocracy system, to provide answers to organizational decency the central category), comes up. These targeted actions cause organizational productivity.

Theorem 6: Meritocracy and ethics further promote organizational decency in the public sector.

Theorem 7: Organizational support including intra-organizational empathy and guiding role of the manager, human interactions, and organizational relationships also play a role in organizational productivity.

Theorem 8: Organizational productivity is the result of interactions between the aforementioned categories.


Comparison framework

It is based on the comparison of two democratic and sociological approaches, which is used for external validation of the model resulting from this research.


Model of decency and democratic approach

Carter challenges decency from a democratic perspective. Stephen Carter (1998), whose work is based on democratic decency, defines decency as "The sum of the sacrifices we make together to create a better life". In addition, he considers this definition appropriate as "Moral competence to keep citizens together with respect". According to these democratic definitions of decency, we reach this common point between democratic approach and the model of organizational decency in the public sector, which is self-control and empathy within the organization, which is one of the categories of model of organizational decency in the public sector.

In Carter's 10 democratic definitions of decency, we read: "Politeness requires that we give up, not only to those we know but also to strangers" as well as "Generosity is an important part of decency", and also "We should honor the presence of our fellow citizens with a sense of trust and gratitude" and "Politeness" is necessary that respect for others is manifested in us." All the mentioned cases are consistent with the category of human interactions in the model of organizational decency in the public sector.


Decency model and sociological approach

Scott Peck (1993) defines social decency as "Organizational behavior with conscious motives and moral submission to a higher power". According to these sociological definitions of decency, we reach this common point between sociological approach and organizational decency model in the public sector, which is God-centered and strict-centered, which is one of the categories of organizational decency model in the public sector [11].

In Peck's 6 definitions of decency, we read: "The basis of humanism in theology is that human beings are very precious because they were created by a divine and higher power and the divinity of the Creator is reflected in them."

"A noble person should be able to accept a higher power".

"The attitude of humanism which can be defined as the moral awareness of other people, individually and collectively as precious beings."

All the mentioned cases are consistent with the categories of ethics and comprehensive justice in the model of organizational decency in the public sector.


Model of decency and uncivilized approach

Peck (1993) believes that bullying is caused by a lack of awareness. Uncivilized is usually unusual. He says that we as humans are unconscious creatures. People are not born noble. It is during development and learning that a person becomes noble. Peck's argument is that people must learn to be noble. The emphasis of this article is that politeness is a learned behavior. People are not born with it (decency), they start learning with a little distance. As humans, we learn from our parents and other members of society what behavior is appropriate being noble is a matter of choice. People can choose to be more aware and noble only if a person is taught how to become noble. Examining the approach of non-civilization and organizational decency model leads to this common point that background and competence (categories of decency model) are very important in both subjects and being noble is a selective issue. People can choose to be more aware and noble only if a person is taught how to become noble.


Model of decency and shared moral understanding

The main theme of both Peck's and Carter's works is about the decency of ideas related to moral authority. For both of them, decency is its basis and its root in connection with a higher power. As mentioned earlier, though, they both acknowledge that belief in a higher power does not guarantee decency. Furthermore, they agree that even people who do not believe in the existence of a higher power can behave nobly. The question is how organizations create or develop this humanitarian attitude that is vital to organizational decency. Carter (1998) believes that "Decency is possible if the members of a society commit themselves to follow a set of behavioral rules not because the law requires them, but since they understand its virtue. "Sacrifice your selfishness and freedom for a greater choice."

For organizational ethics to be successful, leaders should choose a rule or ethic that guides the behavior of all individuals. This means that it should be a law that is accepted by all people regardless of whether they are religious or not. For Manny's decency system to be successful, leaders should choose a rule or ethic that guides everyone's behavior. This means that it should be a law that is accepted by all people regardless of whether they are religious or not. The golden rule is a concept that is found almost everywhere in the words of religions. Examining the approach of shared moral understanding and the model of organizational decency leads to this common point that organizational commitment and organizational relationships (categories of the model of decency) are common features of these two approaches.


Decency model and organizational culture

"All transmitted social behavior patterns, art, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought from a population or society at a particular time". Shin (1997) mostly refers to his work on organizational culture. In his definition of organizational culture, it is as follows: "A pattern of common assumptions that the group has learned to solve problems of external compatibility and internal integration." This part of the research literature expresses the same intra-organizational empathy of the decency model. Organizational culture is caused by the leader (Bass, 1990). It is through the leader's vision and commitment that cultures are built and changed when necessary. Shin (1997), as mentioned earlier, is known for his best work on organizational culture. He has identified the evolutionary stages of culture. This is important because the stages of evolution affect the process of change.

In general, there are three primary stages of change, as follow:

1- No freezing;

2- Cognitive reconstruction; and

3- Refreeze



The mentioned points show the role of the manager in the model of organizational decency in the public sector. An organization, even if it is in the stage of maturity or flight, needs drastic changes to change the culture. Cultural transfer may require the injection of outsiders into the organization. Culture change may be at a more extreme level through retrenchment and turnover and can only happen through the destruction and rebirth of an organization. The points mentioned in this part of the research literature prove the strategic nature of politeness and human interactions in the mode of organizational politeness in the public sector. Concerning the inadequacy of classical decency theories in explaining the effective factors of organizational decency, and the existence of differences in these factors according to cultural differences, there was a need to conduct research on organizational decency in the public sector in Iran. The contribution of this research in the field of public administration studies is a coherent theory about the factors affecting the creation/improvement of organizational decency in the public sector. Likewise, in the theoretical field of decency, since both democratic and sociological approaches have supporters and critics, the theory of organizational decency in the public sector, with a process approach to creating/promoting decency, tries to combine these two approaches and place them alongside each other. Therefore, this theory can be considered as one of the researches that mention the creation/promotion of decency as dependent on the process of constructive interaction between different decency factors. Of course, there is also a difference with this set of researches, and that is the emphasis on the role of religious and religious stimuli in the process of promoting decency.


According to the results of this research and the paradigm model as well as based on the theory developed in this research, the following suggestions can be made to create/promote organizational decency:

Suggestions resulting from the final research model

  • Religious and belief stimuli are among the causal conditions that create and strengthen decency in managers. Efforts to strengthen religious beliefs and deepen ideological beliefs of public sector managers can eventually lead to the improvement of their decency and organization.
  • Decency, which is exemplified by emphasizing background, competence, and self-control, should be the focus of attention of superior managers and strategies, to be adopted to create, and strengthen it in managers and employees of the public sector.
  • Carrying out internal reforms can lead to the creation and promotion of organizational decency. It is suggested to take effective measures in the field of reducing unnecessary bureaucracy and giving more autonomy to managers and making organizational structures more flexible.
  • Efforts to improve the competencies of managers and their employees as well as the establishment of a meritocracy and merit selection system in public organizations can promote organizational decency.
  • Efforts to increase intra-organizational empathy and increase the support of macro systems for the measured actions of noble managers can have a major impact on the promotion of organizational decency.

Suggestions for managers and policymakers of government agencies

  • Organizational decency is closely related to the values of organization and society. It is recommended to provide many opportunities to familiarize the public sector employees and managers with these values and expectations of the society and the organization from them in relation to the organizational decency, especially for newcomers.
  • The behavior of senior managers, customs, rituals, and generally the environment play a decisive role in creating and strengthening organizational decency. Organizations should be committed to creating such an environment that models organizational decency.
  • Encouraging and honoring managers and employees who promote organizational decency and use it practically is a useful way to promote the decency motivation and spread it to others.
  • Adding the values of organizational decency to academic and professional curricula, especially in fields related to organization and management, will be effective in committing people to public interests, training employees, and managers with high decency.
  • Nowadays, there is a growing tendency to accept and apply the principles of private business management in the public sector. Concerning the positive effects of the motivation of organizational decency in the effectiveness of public organizations, it is suggested that before accepting the principles and activities of private business management, these principles and activities should be examined in the context of theory of organizational decency in the public sector to determine their applicability to be specified for the public sector and their employees.
  • Due to the existence of a relationship between management components and organizational decency, managers can help to promote organizational decency by promoting meritocracy, organizational commitment, citizenship behavior, etc.
  • Reducing unnecessary bureaucracy, carrying out organizational reforms to explain the goals of the organization and improve the capabilities of employees and managers, explaining the importance of role of managers and employees of the public sector in providing benefits to the public, and actions of this kind can help to highlight the decency culture.
  • Without knowledge of decency theories, especially in the public sector, managers may unintentionally reduce internal motivation. Accordingly, managers and supervisors in the public sector, as well as human resource specialists, should be taught about the theory of organizational decency.


Suggestions for future research

One of the main limitations of qualitative research is the limitation in generalizing the results. It is suggested to carry out research according to the paradigm model and theoretical theorems of this research to develop a questionnaire of organizational decency to measure it.

  • Conducting research on the same subject, but with other qualitative research strategies can also add to the richness of the subject literature.
  • The use of qualitative research methods, including the conceptualization of foundation data, has increasingly attracted the attention of management researchers. It is suggested that other researchers investigate other management issues using the foundation's data conceptualization strategy.

Citation Afsoon Damavandi*, Processing the Concept of Organizational Civility in Public Sector: A Grounded Theory Study Int. J. Adv. Stu. Hum. Soc. Sci. 2023, 12 (3):294-310.

Copyright © 2023 by SPC (Sami Publishing Company) + is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License(CC BY)  license  (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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