Psychological Science ›› 2013, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (5): 1176-1180.

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Workplace Ostracism and Employees’ In-Role Behaviors and Extra-Role Behaviors: The Mediating Effect of Belonging Need


  1. 1. Beijing Normal University
  • Received:2012-04-11 Revised:2013-06-21 Online:2013-09-20 Published:2013-09-20
  • Contact: Jiang JIANG



  1. 北京师范大学
  • 通讯作者: 蒋奖

Abstract: Researches on ostracism became popular in the 70s of last century, with the development of theories of belonging needs and self-esteem. It is typically defined as being ignored and excluded, and often occurs without excessive explanation or explicit negative attention. Workplace ostracism, which is usually conducted by supervisors or colleagues in the organizations, is one special example. After being ostracized, individuals’ fundamental needs (especially the belonging need) will be threatened, and then victims have to search for various ways, including behavioral changes, to compensate these thwarted needs. In other words, workplace ostracism is likely to influence organizational behaviors. The current study was to explore the relationships among workplace ostracism (both from supervisors and coworkers), employees’ in-role behaviors and extra-role behaviors (i.e., organizational citizenship behavior), and the mediating role of belonging need in aforesaid relationships, based on the William’s temporal need-threat model. In total, 247 employees collected from different organizations were sampled. To avoid the common method variance two waves of survey were administrated, using time-lagged design with one week in between. In the first wave, employees were asked to provide ratings of workplace ostracism (both from supervisors and coworkers) and some demographic information. In the second wave, the satisfaction of belonging needs and the level of both in-role and extra-role behaviors were asked. After investigated, the data collected in two waves were matched, input into computer and analyzed by software of SPSS 16.0 Hierarchical Regression Modeling (HRM) was employed to analyze the data. Results indicated that: workplace ostracism (both from supervisors and coworkers) could negatively predict employees’ in-role behaviors and extra-role behaviors, but these relationships would be mediated by belonging need, namely, workplace ostracism could affect employees’ belonging need, then their behavioral performance would be impaired at last. Workplace ostracism is a negative phenomenon that can not be ignored. These findings not only examined the relationships among workplace ostracism, belonging needs, in-role and extra-role behaviors, but also attracted attentions of domestic scholars to workplace ostracism which is a hot area of occupational health psychology. Future researchers can explore the influence of ostracism on employees’ attitude, behavior and health integratedly, and the mediating effect of other fundamental needs, i.e., self-esteem, meaningful existence, and control need. It is also interesting to understand the response of victims after being ostracized for a long timefrom dynamic perspective.Besides theoretical contributions, the present findings hada lot of important practical implications. For example, they offered some suggestions of preventing workplace ostracismfor organization managers and how to reduce its influence for victims through satisfying their belonging need.

Key words: workplace ostracism, in-role behaviors, extra-role behaviors, organizational citizenship behaviors, belonging need

摘要: 为考察工作场所排斥(包括上司排斥与同事排斥)与员工角色内行为和角色外行为(组织公民行为)之间的关系,以及归属感在上述关系中的中介作用,本研究采用问卷调查法,分两次对全职工作一年以上的员工进行施测,前后共获得247份有效匹配数据,经统计分析后发现:(1)上司排斥与同事排斥均显著地负向预测员工角色内外行为,即工作场所排斥水平越高,角色内行为和角色外行为的表现越差。(2)归属感在上司排斥、同事排斥与员工角色内行为之间发挥了完全中介作用,即工作场所排斥会破坏员工的归属感,最终降低角色内行为。(3)归属感在上司排斥和角色外行为的关系中发挥了完全中介作用,但在同事排斥与角色外行为的关系中仅存在部分中介作用,说明工作场所排斥在一定程度上会破坏员工的归属感,最终影响其角色外行为表现。

关键词: 工作场所排斥, 角色内行为, 角色外行为, 组织公民行为, 归属感