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Workplace ostracism and job performance: roles of self-efficacy and job level

Dirk De Clercq (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Inam Ul Haq (Lahore Business School, University of Lahore, Lahore, Pakistan)
Muhammad Umer Azeem (School of Business and Economics, University of Management and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 30 November 2018

Issue publication date: 21 January 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate how employees’ perceptions of workplace ostracism might reduce their job performance, as well as how the negative workplace ostracism–job performance relationship might be buffered by their self-efficacy. It also considers how this buffering role of self-efficacy might vary according to employees’ job level.


Quantitative data came from a survey of employees and their supervisors in Pakistani organizations.


Workplace ostracism relates negatively to job performance, but this relationship is weaker at higher levels of self-efficacy. The buffering role of self-efficacy is particularly strong among employees at higher job levels.

Practical implications

Organizations that cannot prevent some of their employees from feeling excluded by other members can counter the related threat of underperformance by promoting employees’ confidence in their own skills and competencies. This measure is particularly useful among higher-ranking employees.


This study provides a more complete understanding of the circumstances in which workplace ostracism is less likely to diminish employees’ job performance, by specifying the concurrent influences of workplace ostracism, self-efficacy and job level.



De Clercq, D., Haq, I.U. and Azeem, M.U. (2019), "Workplace ostracism and job performance: roles of self-efficacy and job level", Personnel Review, Vol. 48 No. 1, pp. 184-203.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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