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Mediating roles of employee cynicism and workplace ostracism on the relationship between perceived organizational politics and counterproductive work behavior

Fabian Ugwu (Department of Psychology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria) (Institute for Psychology, TU Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany)
Anthony C. Nwali (Department of Business Administration, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria)
Lawrence E. Ugwu (Department of Psychology, Renaissance University, Enugu, Nigeria) (Department of Psychology, Coal City University, Enugu, Nigeria) (Department of Psychology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)
Chiedozie O. Okafor (Department of Psychology, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria)
Keyna C. Ozurumba (Department of Business Administration, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Nigeria)
Ike E. Onyishi (Department of Psychology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 2 June 2023

Issue publication date: 8 June 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

This study investigated employee cynicism and workplace ostracism as pathways through which perceived organizational politics (POPs) is related to counterproductive work behavior (CWB) targeted at individual coworkers (CWB-I) and the organization (CWB-O).

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 794 university employees in Southeastern, Nigeria at three-point of measurements.

Findings

Results of the Structural Equation Modelling showed that POPs positively predicted CWB-I but did not predict CWB-O directly. POPs positively predicted both employee cynicism and workplace ostracism. Employee cynicism did not predict CWB-I and CWB-O, but workplace ostracism positively predicted both CWB-I and CWB-O. Moreover, whilst POPs did not predict both CWB-I and CWB-O through employee cynicism; workplace ostracism partially mediated the relationship between POPs and the two dimensions of CWB.

Originality/value

The relationship between POPs and CWB has been documented in the literature, but whether affect-laden processes (employee cynicism and workplace ostracism) explain this relationship is new. Conducting the study in a context previously neglected extended our understanding of the indirect relationship between POPs and CWB.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was completed when Dr. Fabian O. Ugwu was a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Germany. The authors are grateful to the AvH for their support.

Citation

Ugwu, F., Nwali, A.C., Ugwu, L.E., Okafor, C.O., Ozurumba, K.C. and Onyishi, I.E. (2023), "Mediating roles of employee cynicism and workplace ostracism on the relationship between perceived organizational politics and counterproductive work behavior", Career Development International, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 314-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/CDI-07-2022-0208

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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