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The workplace has become an important social context that cannot be ignored as today’s nature of work requires employees to spend a great amount of time with other organizational members. Although there are numerous advantages of working in teams and with many organizational members, interpersonal relationships are not always positive within organizations. Recently, Robinson et al. (2013) mentioned that workplace ostracism has become an organizational concern because of frequency and its negative impact. Research has found workplace ostracism to be related to workplace behaviors such as job withdrawal, aggression, and interpersonal conflict (e.g., Chung, 2015; Ferris et al., 2008; O’Reilly and Robinson, 2009). Ostracism can significantly affect workplace behaviors such as performance due to the importance of satisfaction needs and the need for self-regulation (e.g., Armeli, Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Lynch, 1998; Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005; Kozlowski & Bell, 2006).
Limitations and future directions
The study has several limitations that should be mentioned. First, all of the questionnaires were self-rated and common method variance may be of concern. Although the study was designed using a three-wave approach, the use of multi-raters such as peers and supervisors should also be considered for workplace behaviors such as helping behavior, voicing behavior, and deviant behavior (e.g., Stewart et al., 2009). Second, the results may not be generalizable due to the study sample’s characteristics. The sample consisted of respondents from several organizations from different industries in South Korea. For instance, a collectivistic society emphasizes solidarity, harmony, and having a concern for others. Collectivistic societies can perceive workplace ostracism differently and can be more sensitive toward ostracism (Powell et al., 2009) in comparison to Western societies that focus on individualism and self-achievement. Workplace behaviors such as helping behaviors and voicing behaviors can also be differently perceived due to the emphasis on close and harmonious relationships. Third, the appropriateness of the control variables should be reconsidered. Although individual-level characteristics that might affect relationships between the study variables were considered, other individual variables such as personality characteristics and negative affect may prove to be more significant for ostracism and workplace behaviors (e.g., Williams et al., 2002; Berkowitz, 1989). Last, the scale measuring workplace ostracism is generalized and does not distinguish the types of ostracism behaviors and identify the source of ostracism. As individuals may experience several types of ostracism behaviors, certain forms of ostracism behaviors can have more impact on certain workplace behaviors.