Antecedents of workplace ostracism: New directions in research and intervention

Kristin L. Scott, Michelle K. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


We explore the antecedents of workplace ostracism and delineate possible organizational interventions to deter ostracism. Under the lens of evolutionary psychology we argue that individuals deemed capable of contributing to social and organizational goals become valued group members while those who threaten group stability and viability risk being shunned or ostracized. Specifically, we review empirical evidence and present the results of a pilot study suggesting that those who are perceived to violate injunctive and descriptive norms, as well as threaten one's self-concept are at increased risk for ostracism. In terms of intervention, we propose mindfulness techniques and organizational support as a route to deter employees' inclinations to ostracize coworkers. Thus, a primary goal of this chapter is to explicate a framework for identifying the predictors and deterrents of workplace ostracism in order to generate additional research on this important topic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-165
Number of pages29
JournalResearch in Occupational Stress and Well Being
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Mindfulness
  • Organizational goals
  • Organizational interventions
  • Organizational norms
  • Social goals
  • Workplace ostracism


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