Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 48 ›› Issue (10): 1314-1325.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2016.01314
XIE Jun1; YAN Ming2
Workplace ostracism was defined as being ignored or excluded by others in workplace. Although previous studies have investigated the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior, the empirical findings were mixed. Some scholars suggested that employee personality play a critical role in determining how the individuals respond to workplace ostracism. However, the process through which these moderating effects occur has not been fully studied. Fortunately, the transactional model of stress and coping strategies can provide a substantial theoretical framework by which the moderating effects of personality can be explored. The relationship between stressor (e.g., workplace ostracism) and work outcomes depends on the coping strategies that individual adopt. With this argument, we aimed to examine the moderating role that proactive personality and two broad categories of coping strategies—active and avoidance—in the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior. In order to test our model, we conducted a survey on 249 employee-supervisor dyads from nine large companies in Guangdong province. The survey questionnaires were coded in order to match employee and their leaders. All respondents were informed that the purpose of the survey was to examine human resource practices. The confidentiality of their responses was emphasized. Respondents put the completed questionnaires into the sealed envelopes and returned them directly to our research assistants. Data were collected from multiple sources to avoid the common method bias. Specifically, employees reported their proactive personality, perceived workplace ostracism, active and avoidance coping strategies. Their leaders were asked to rate the employees’ organizational citizenship behavior. Hierarchical regressions and bootstrap with MPLUS were applied to test our hypotheses. Empirical results supported our arguments that workplace ostracism was negatively related to organizational citizenship behavior. The relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior was weaker when employees were high in proactive personality. Moreover, the mediated moderation analyses revealed that proactive personality was positively associated with active coping strategies and negatively associated with avoidance coping strategies. Specifically, the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior was weaker when employees used active coping strategies. The moderating effects of proactive personality between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior were mediated by the use of active coping strategies. With these findings, we make some contributions to the literature and management practice. First, we extended previous work on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior by showing that individuals with high proactive personality are more likely to choose constructive behaviors in response to the negative work environment and stressful work events. Second, our results also supported the moderating role of active coping strategies on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior, contributing to the study of boundary effect on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior. Third, our findings suggest that active coping strategies partially mediate the moderating effects of proactive personality on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior, revealing how personality effects on work outcomes. The results also confirmed the notion that coping strategies might be an important psychological construct through which personality traits were expressed.
organizational citizenship behavior,
XIE Jun; YAN Ming. (2016). Active coping or avoidance? The effect of proactive personality on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 48(10), 1314-1325.
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