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Coping with workplace ostracism: the roles of emotional exhaustion and resilience in deviant behavior

Hongyan Jiang (School of Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Xianjin Jiang (School of Management, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Peizhen Sun (Department of Psychology, Jiangsu Normal University, Xuzhou, China)
Xiuping Li (NUS Business School, National University of Singapore, Singapore)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 17 March 2020

Issue publication date: 22 January 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explicate the relationship between workplace ostracism and deviant behavior, and further test the mediating role of emotional exhaustion and the moderating role of resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 409 first-line production workers from four manufacturing enterprises in China was collected. A moderated mediation analysis was employed to test the hypotheses and examine the relationships proposed in the research framework.

Findings

The findings indicate that emotional exhaustion could mediate the relationship between workplace ostracism and deviant behavior. Moreover, the results from the moderated mediation analysis suggest that the mediation of emotional exhaustion is moderated by resilience such that with a higher level of resilience, the mediation effect of emotional exhaustion becomes weaker.

Research limitations/implications

The participants of this study are limited to manufacturing enterprises, and thus our findings may not be equally valid for other types of industries. Meanwhile, this study is a cross-sectional research that could not explain the causal relationship between workplace ostracism and deviant behavior.

Practical implications

The present research can offer some managerial implications about how to avoid the occurrence of workplace ostracism and deviant behavior for organizations.

Originality/value

This study constructs a moderated mediation model by introducing the potential mediating role of emotional exhaustion and the moderating effect of resilience in order to reveal the mechanism through which workplace ostracism relates to deviant behavior. Our research not only integrates and enriches the ideas of the Stress-Non-Equilibrium-Compensation Approach and the Transactional Model of Stress and Coping Theory but could also inform future management practices for mitigating the negative consequences of workplace ostracism.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China [grant number 71302141, 71672187]; Think Tank of Green Safety Management and Policy Science of CUMT [grant number 2018WHCC03]; and Qing Lan Project of Jiangsu Province [grant number 2017].

Citation

Jiang, H., Jiang, X., Sun, P. and Li, X. (2021), "Coping with workplace ostracism: the roles of emotional exhaustion and resilience in deviant behavior", Management Decision, Vol. 59 No. 2, pp. 358-371. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-06-2019-0848

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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