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How supervisor and coworker ostracism influence employee outcomes: the role of organizational dehumanization and organizational embodiment

Noémie Brison (Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)
Tiphaine Huyghebaert-Zouaghi (Université de Reims Champagne-Ardenne, C2S, Reims, France)
Gaëtane Caesens (Psychological Sciences Research Institute, Université catholique de Louvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 26 April 2024

Issue publication date: 6 May 2024

154

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the mediating role of organizational dehumanization in the relationships between supervisor/coworker ostracism and employee outcomes (i.e., increased physical strains, decreased work engagement, increased turnover intentions). Moreover, this research explores the moderating role of supervisor’s organizational embodiment and coworkers’ organizational embodiment in these indirect relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study (N = 625) surveying employees from various organizations while using online questionnaires was conducted.

Findings

Results highlighted that, when considered together, both supervisor ostracism and coworker ostracism are positively related to organizational dehumanization, which, in turn, detrimentally influences employees’ well-being (increased physical strains), attitudes (decreased work engagement) and behaviors (increased turnover intentions). Results further indicated that the indirect effects of supervisor ostracism on outcomes via organizational dehumanization were stronger when the supervisor was perceived as highly representative of the organization. However, the interactive effect between coworker ostracism and coworkers’ organizational embodiment on organizational dehumanization was not significant.

Originality/value

This research adds to theory by highlighting how and when supervisor and coworker ostracism relate to undesirable consequences for both employees and organizations. On top of simultaneously considering two sources of workplace ostracism (supervisor/coworkers), this research adds to extant literature by examining one underlying mechanism (i.e., organizational dehumanization) explaining their deleterious influence on outcomes. It further examines the circumstances (i.e., high organizational embodiment) in which victims of supervisor/coworker ostracism particularly rely on this experience to form organizational dehumanization perceptions.

Keywords

Citation

Brison, N., Huyghebaert-Zouaghi, T. and Caesens, G. (2024), "How supervisor and coworker ostracism influence employee outcomes: the role of organizational dehumanization and organizational embodiment", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 234-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/BJM-09-2023-0370

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2024, Emerald Publishing Limited

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