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This study investigated the mediating effects of defensive silence and emotional exhaustion between ostracism and interpersonal deviance, explained through transactional theory of stress and coping. Time-lagged and multi-source data was collected at two measurement points from 320 employees, working in service sector organizations of Pakistan. Employees appraise ostracism as an uncontrollable interpersonal stressor that threatens their relational and efficacy needs. They try to deal with this threat through an avoidant coping approach and resort to interpersonal deviance, via a cognitive path and an emotional route, namely defensive silence and emotional exhaustion. Our results show that workplace ostracism, defensive silence, and emotional exhaustion contribute to the prevalence of interpersonal deviance, and offer several direct as well as indirect options. One path involves actions that discourage ostracism through various human resource functions. Another step pertains to defensive silence which could be put off by a suggestion system that offers psychological safety to employees. The last measure relates to emotional exhaustion, prevented by emotional mentoring and employee assistance plans. The present study explains the underlying cognitive and emotional mechanisms between ostracism and interpersonal deviance. It extends research on defensive silence to demonstrate its theoretical as well as empirical effect on interpersonal deviance. It further explains how employees use interpersonal deviance, to reduce the negative effect of ostracism. Lastly, it describes ostracism and deviance in the context of collectivist culture of Pakistan, which underscores close interpersonal relationships.
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- How Workplace Ostracism Influences Interpersonal Deviance: The Mediating Role of Defensive Silence and Emotional Exhaustion
- Springer US
Journal of Business and Psychology
Print ISSN: 0889-3268
Elektronische ISSN: 1573-353X
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