Why and When Workplace Ostracism Inhibits Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: An Organizational Identification Perspective

Journal of Applied Psychology, 101, 362–378

54 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016

See all articles by Chia‐Huei Wu

Chia‐Huei Wu

Durham University

Jun Liu

Renmin University of China

Ho Kwong Kwan

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics

Cynthia Lee

Northeastern University - Management Information Systems Area

Date Written: March 9, 2016

Abstract

Why and when do employees respond to workplace ostracism by withholding their engagement in citizenship behavior? Beyond perspectives proposed in past studies, we offer a new account based on a social identity perspective and propose that workplace ostracism decreases citizenship behavior by undermining employees’ identification with the organization. We also theorize that perceived job mobility influences the extent to which employees identify with the organization when being ostracized. These hypotheses were examined in two time-lagged studies conducted in China. The proposed hypotheses were supported by results in Study 1, and findings were generally replicated in Study 2, where effects of other known mediators (i.e., organization-based self-esteem, job engagement, and felt obligation towards the organization) and moderators (i.e., collectivism, power distance, and future orientation) suggested by previous perspectives were controlled. Results of Study 2 provided further support of the hypothesized directional effect of workplace ostracism on citizenship behavior via organizational identification. Our studies support the identification perspective in understanding workplace ostracism and also strengthen the application of this perspective in understanding workplace aggression broadly.

Keywords: Workplace ostracism, organizational identification, citizenship behavior, job mobility

Suggested Citation

Wu, Chia‐Huei and Liu, Jun and Kwan, Ho Kwong and Lee, Cynthia, Why and When Workplace Ostracism Inhibits Organizational Citizenship Behaviors: An Organizational Identification Perspective (March 9, 2016). Journal of Applied Psychology, 101, 362–378, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2745191

Chia‐Huei Wu (Contact Author)

Durham University ( email )

Old Elvet
Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3HP
United Kingdom

Jun Liu

Renmin University of China ( email )

Room B906
Xianjin Building
Beijing, Beijing 100872
China

Ho Kwong Kwan

Shanghai University of Finance and Economics ( email )

Cynthia Lee

Northeastern University - Management Information Systems Area ( email )

Boston, MA 02115
United States

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