Abstract Research to date has largely been unclear about the relationship between supervisor incivility and employee innovation. In the current research, we examine the extent to which hostile cognition mediates the relationship between supervisor incivility and employee innovation, and the extent to which locus of control moderates these relationships. By collecting 317 employees’ data, it is found that supervisor incivility is associated with employee innovation and hostile cognition fully mediates this relationship. Moreover, locus of control moderates the indirect effect, such that the higher employees with locus of control are, the weaker employees with hostile cognition are. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.