Breaking (or making) the silence: How goal interdependence and social skill predict being ostracized

Long Zeng Wu, D. Lance Ferris, Ho Kwong Kwan, Flora Chiang, Ed Snape, Lindie H. Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Although ostracism can have devastating consequences for employees and organizations, our understanding of what contributes to ostracism is notably limited. Drawing on and extending goal interdependence theory, we integrate the goal interdependence and social skill literatures to predict when individuals are likely to be ostracized. Across two studies we found that cooperative goal interdependence reduced, while competitive goal interdependence facilitated, being ostracized; social skill strengthened the negative impact of cooperative goal interdependence on ostracism and neutralized the positive impact of competitive goal interdependence on ostracism. In a third longitudinal study, we found that relationship conflict mediated the interactive effect of goal interdependence and social skill on being ostracized. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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