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Workplace ostracism and employee creativity: role of defensive silence and psychological empowerment

Kalaa Chenji (Department of Human Resources, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Hyderabad, India)
Raghavendra Sode (Department of Human Resources, ICFAI Foundation for Higher Education, Hyderabad, India)

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 16 August 2019

Issue publication date: 16 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of workplace ostracism and defensive silence on employee behavior within an organization. The paper attempts to study the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity. The paper also aims to train the employees to withstand the negative effects of workplace ostracism.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an empirical study. Primary data were collected from 454 employees working in the service sector in India. The data were collected from an IT sector unit, an insurance company and a bank. Utmost care was taken in order to select organizations where there was frequent interaction between the supervisors and co-workers in order to measure the relevant variables. Mean, standard deviation and correlation were used for descriptive studies, and structural equation modeling was used to measure several dimensions of the hypothesized model. A bootstrap method is used to measure the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity.

Findings

The study found that defensive silence mediates between workplace ostracism and employee creativity and psychological empowerment moderates between workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Workplace ostracism negatively effects employee creativity and positively influences defensive silence. The study reveals the moderating effect of psychological empowerment on workplace ostracism and employee creativity such that low levels of psychological empowerment negatively influences employee creativity and high level of psychological empowerment has a positive effect on employee creativity.

Practical implications

Workplace ostracism is proved to be a stressor. The study contributes to the literature on stressor–strain relationship workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Psychological empowerment has indirect influence on workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Organizations may train employees to combat the negative effects of workplace ostracism through concepts like psychological empowerment.

Originality/value

The study is one of its kind as it aimed to measure the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity. Though there are several studies on workplace ostracism, its influence on employee creativity perhaps is covered by the present study.

Keywords

Citation

Chenji, K. and Sode, R. (2019), "Workplace ostracism and employee creativity: role of defensive silence and psychological empowerment", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 51 No. 6, pp. 360-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/ICT-05-2019-0049

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited