ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2020, Vol. 28 ›› Issue (2): 191-205.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2020.00191

• Conceptual Framework •     Next Articles

Theorizing the interactions among parties involved in workplace ostracism: Based on social balance theory

MAO Yina(), PAN Ran, ZHANG Wei   

  1. School of Business, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2019-06-28 Online:2020-02-15 Published:2019-12-25
  • Contact: Yina MAO


Most previous research has adopted the angle from the ostracized employees and studied the impact of workplace ostracism on them. However, at least two more parties are involved in workplace ostracism. They are the ostracizers and third parties. These parties should have significant influence on the emergence and development of workplace ostracism. Unfortunately, these two parties are seldom included in extant literature. This leads to a restricted theoretical understanding of the whole picture of workplace ostracism. Based on social balance theory, we argue that workplace ostracism is the result of interactions among the ostracized employees, the ostracizers and third parties. Thus, it is essential to explore how the characteristics of the ostracizers, moral judgments of third parties, and the specific interactions among the three parties can impact the emergence and development of workplace ostracism. By presenting such a comprehensive picture with multiple players and their interactions, we can provide a theoretical framework that reflects more accurately the reality and thus suggest better practical implications concerning how workplace ostracism in organizations can be reduced and managed.

Key words: workplace ostracism, ostracizers, victims, third parties, social balance theory

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