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Perceived overqualification leads to being ostracized: the mediating role of psychological entitlement and moderating role of task interdependence

Xiongliang Peng (School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Kun Yu (School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Yezi Kang (School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Kairui Zhang (School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)
Qishu Chen (School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, Beijing, China)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 15 August 2023

Issue publication date: 29 August 2023

591

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to test the mediating effect of psychological entitlement in the relationship between perceived overqualification (POQ) and workplace ostracism. In addition, the authors posited that POQ would interact with task interdependence to influence psychological entitlement and indirectly affect workplace ostracism.

Design/methodology/approach

Using data collected in three waves from 450 workers in a state-owned enterprise, the authors tested the proposed moderated mediation model.

Findings

POQ increased workplace ostracism through the mediation of psychological entitlement. Moreover, task interdependence buffered the positive effect of POQ on psychological entitlement.

Practical implications

When recruiting, managers should be careful about hiring employees who are too above the job requirements to lessen employees' POQ and lower its negative impact. In addition, they could reduce the feeling of being ostracized for overqualified employees through increasing task interdependence.

Originality/value

Existing research on antecedents of workplace ostracism had mainly focused on the ostracizers, while largely ignoring the victims. Moreover, of the few studies on the victims of ostracism, most focused on inherent employee characteristics or external environmental factors, while little research attention has been given to employees' subjective perceptions. The present study is among the first to examine whether employees' POQ and individuals' self-perception that their skills, knowledge and abilities exceed the job requirements would lead to being ostracized and if so, how and when.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: This article was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 72171227).

Citation

Peng, X., Yu, K., Kang, Y., Zhang, K. and Chen, Q. (2023), "Perceived overqualification leads to being ostracized: the mediating role of psychological entitlement and moderating role of task interdependence", Career Development International, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 554-571. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-06-2022-0143

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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