Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Zhiqing Zhou

Committee Members

Kristin Sommer

Harold Goldstein

Erin Eatough

Steven Young

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


Workplace ostracism, Coworker Ostracism, Proactive Behavior, Proactive Motivation, Feedback Inquiry, Voice


Coworker ostracism occurs when employees perceive that their coworkers are ignoring or excluding them. The current work examines how coworker ostracism predicts feedback inquiry and voice, two proactive behaviors important for individual and organizational success. Specifically, I explored whether these relationships are mediated by three proactive motivation states: organizational identification, control appraisal, and positive affect. I also examined whether political skill and perceived organizational support (POS) moderated the relationships between coworker ostracism and proactive motivation states, as well as the proposed indirect effects. I collected data from 309 participants via TurkPrime, using a two-wave lagged design with measurements separated by two months. Results showed that, consistent with the proactive motivation model, the indirect effects of coworker ostracism on feedback inquiry via organizational identification and positive affect were significant, while the indirect effects of coworker ostracism on voice via organizational identification, control appraisal, and positive affect were significant. Most moderation hypotheses were not supported, with POS buffering the relationship between coworker ostracism and positive affect and the associated indirect effects as exceptions. The current study’s results suggest that coworker ostracism can potentially reduce proactive behavior by lowering proactive motivation. Organizations may benefit from reducing coworker ostracism so that it does not impact proactive motivation and subsequent proactive behavior. Supporting their employees so they develop high POS may also be a useful tactic for mitigating the effects of coworker ostracism on positive affect, and in turn proactive behavior.