Ostracism In The Presence Of Psychological Capital Psychology Essay

1357 words (5 pages) Essay

1st Jan 1970 Psychology Reference this


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Ostracism is the perception of being ignored or excluded by other employees in a workplace Ferris, Brown, Berry Lian, 2008. ostracism is basically defined as being ignored or excluded by other employees without explanation and intense negative intention ostracism does not provide employees an opportunity for social interaction which is necessary for the fulfillment of their psychological needs (Long-Zeng Wu, Frederick Hong-kit Yim, Ho Kwong Kwan and Xiaomeng Zhang, 2007). Ostracism is positively related to psychological distress (Williams, 1997, 2001). Research has revealed that psychological distress experienced in a workplace causes or lead negative or undesirable outcomes such as turnover retention, reduced job performance, job dissatisfaction, poor physical health etc. (Grandey and Cropanzano, 1999). In fact, ostracism affects employee’s physical and mental health to a great extent (Heaphy and Dutton, 2008). Ostracism has sufficiently harm effect on both employees and organizations including psychological distress (depression, job stress, anxiety), undesirable job attributes (job dissatisfaction, reduced job commitment), job withdrawals (turnover retention, job search behavior) and reduced job performance (Ferris at all. 2008). Coping with workplace ostracism is so important because effective and efficient coping strategies may reduce the occurrence of unfavorable outcomes resulting from ostracism (Williams, 2007).

Psychological capital is defined as an individual’s positive psychological attitude towards organization and its development (Luthans, Avey & Naumans, 2007). Psychological capital comprise four major components that are self-efficacy, hope, optimism and resilience (Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) .Self-efficacy is defined as having confidence in an employee about his/her abilities that he/she will take necessary actions which are needed to successfully perform a specific task (Stajkovic & Luthans,1998b: 66). Like self-efficacy, hope is a positive motivational state and it is based on designing goals and planning how those goals will be met (Snyder, Irving, & Anderson, 1991: 287). Research has shown that psychological capital is positively related to outcomes such as job performance and job satisfaction (Luthans.,et all, 2007) and negatively related to outcomes such as organizational cynicism and retention turnover (Avey, Luthans, & Youssef, 2010). Psychological capital particularly self-efficacy and hope provide employees more confidence and positive thinking which can lead to better job performance, higher job satisfaction and lower intention to quit (Abbas, Raja, Darr & Bouckenooghe,2012)

The purpose of our research is to identify how an independent variable i.e. workplace ostracism is associated with outcomes such as job performance, job stress and turnover retention. This research will also show how psychological capital plays an important role as moderating factor between workplace ostracism and unfavorable outcomes. In other words, the main objective of our study is to examine the relationship between ostracism and outcomes such as job performance, job satisfaction, job commitment and turnover retention by stressing on the moderating effect of psychological capital. Hope and self-efficacy are considered to be main components of psychological capital so will focus more on these components.

Literature Review:


“The term ostracism refers to any behavior real or perceive as such where by a group or individual ignored and excludes another group or individual” (Williams,1997).

Ostracism is a level when employee perceives that he is being ignored or excluded by other employee in an organization (Ferris, D. L, Brown, D. J, Berry, J.w and Lian, H 2008). It is an interpersonal stressor that leads toward job tension and depressed mood at work (Wu, Yim, Kwan and Zhang, 2011).

Psychological capital:

“An individual’s positive psychological state of development and is characterized by (1) having confidence (self-efficacy) to take on and put in the necessary effort to succeed at challenging tasks; (2) making a positive attribution (optimism) about succeeding now and in the future; (3) persevering toward goals and, when necessary, redirecting paths to goals (hope) in order to succeed; and (4) when beset by problems and adversity, sustaining and bouncing back and even beyond (resilience) to attain success.” (Luthans, Youssef and Avolio, 2007; page 03).

Psychological capital is positive term which motivates the employee through positive psychological constructs that include efficacy, optimism, hope, and resilience (Luthans and Avolio, 2007).

In other words, hope constitutes the will to succeed and the ability to identify, clarify, and pursue the way to success (Snyder, 2000).

Hope is the factor of psycap that include the will, ability, path that not only identify goals but also tell the alternate way to success to achieve those goals (Snyder, 2000). Hope is positive motivational state that is correlated with job performance job stress and turn over intention.

Self-efficacy is another factor of psycap which describe the employee confidence about his abilities to mobilized motivation and resource to perform his duty within the given context successfully (Stajkovic and Luthans, 1998).

Optimism is a rational process which leads to a positive outcomes or future desirable achievement (Tiger, 1971)

Resilience is positive psychological capital which has the capacity to recover from the environment of conflict adversity and bring a positive change and ability to work in a hard condition to fulfill the responsibilities (Luthans, 2002).

Ostracism and outcomes:

Ostracism effect the job performance of an employee which creates job stress and high turnover intention.

We argue that ostracism decreases the employee efficiency as well as capability to maintain recourse to achieve desire result and this become a hurdle for him to achieve his obligation which creates job stress (William, 1997).

A challenge face by an employee in an organization due to ostracism is that a person’s ability to mobilized the recourse decreases and he is also not that much capable to refill these resources to coping the situation which creates job stress and exhaustion (Hobfoll, 1989).This model states that ostracism threaten the social resources it can be viewed as stressor (Williams, 2001).

This Research also shows that workplace ostracism strongly correlated with the undesirable outcome (turnover intention).

Thinking of an employee to leave the organization or the person mentally think to leave the job is refers to turnover intention (Hanisch and Hulin, 1990).

Ostracism associate with depression, higher level of anxiety and job search which causes the high turnover intention and lowering the level of job satisfaction (Ferris, 2008; Hitlan. 2006).

The understanding to cope up with ostracism is very difficult it require a complete coping strategy which mitigate the effect of ostracism with its negative outcome (Williams, 2007)

Hypothesis: ostracism is positively related to job stress and turnover intention and negatively related to job performance.

Psychological capital and its outcomes:

Although all the factors of psychological capital (efficacy, hope, optimism and resiliency) best meets the criteria and is high order core construct affects the organizational performance and decreases the job stress and turnover intention.

The first aim of psycap is to improve the employee’s performance and satisfied him from his job (Larson and Luthans, 2006)

Psycap is very strong performer which increases motivation hope an employee and creates self-efficacy in a given situation (Luthans and Avolio, 2007)

Hypothesis: psychological is negatively related to job stress and turnover intention and positively related to job performance.

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