Research Looks at the Effects of Ostracism in the Workplace

November 9, 2021by Elise Sanchez0

Summary of:

Choi, Y. (2020). A study of the influence of workplace ostracism on employees’ performance: Moderating effect of perceived organizational support. European Journal of Management and Business Economics, 29(3), 333-345.

Background & Theory

One type of workplace conflict that is not uncommon is ostracism between coworkers. Having this type of distraction within an organization can cause disruptions in cohesion between teams. Researchers wanted to know the true extent of the effects of ostracism in the workplace regarding job performance and how having a supportive upper management can prevent these types of work disruptions.

Research Question(s)

Author Youngkeun Choi in the article “A Study of the influence of workplace ostracism on employees’ performance: Moderating effect of perceived organizational support” sets out to answer the following question:

    1. Is there a direct relation between workplace ostracism and employee performance?


This study was done in Korea by using a survey method. Data from 256 Korean employees and their supervisors were utilized and a multi-regression analysis was completed. Different hypotheses were created and tested from the surveys that were created for the participants.


While other researchers have studied the negative presence of ostracism at work, the research from this article also studied the “supervisor-rated in-role performance” and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). Not only this, the researchers examined how perceived organizational support (POS) is able to moderate the relationship between workplace ostracism and work outcomes. The results were the following:

  • Workplace ostracism was negatively associated with supervisor-rated in-role performance and organizational citizenship behaviors
  • There was a stronger negative relationship between workplace ostracism and supervisor-rated in-role performance/organizational citizenship behavior for employees with low levels of perceived organization support, as opposed to those with high levels of perceived organizational support.

What This Means

  • Creating a safe environment for employees to work in allows them to better thrive in their role in the workplace
  • Having management that can actively de-escalate rather than instigate provides a healthy work environment that allows people to thrive in their work and keep conflict down

Final Takeaway

For consultants: Providing a space for people to feel safe and included in a team or workplace allows for healthier work environments. This allows people to work well, not only together as a team, but also allows people to thrive on individual projects. Making sure that proper management is in place to monitor this behavior is crucial for a positive work environment.

For everyone: Finding an environment that is positive and uplifting makes the difference in the workplace. Being in a supportive team with personal support allows for a better working environment which leads to better quality of work.

Elise Sanchez

Élise Sanchez is a double alumnus from Pepperdine University where she holds a Masters in Dispute Resolution from the Caruso School of Law and a Bachelors in both International Relations and French from Seaver College. During her time in her studies she found her passion for being an advocate for those who need help amplifying their voices. After finishing her International Relations degree, she decided to go on for her MDR to learn how to be a better advocate and peacekeeper.

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