Linking Workplace Ostracism with Discretionary Work Effort: A Serial Mediation Model of the Software Industry


  • Mehwish Umber Student, COMSATS University Islamabad. Author
  • Asif Shahzad Assistant Professor, COMSATS University Islamabad. Author
  • Aamer Waheed Assistant Professor, COMSATS University Islamabad. Author


discretionary work effort, workplace ostracism, negative affect, silence


This study investigates the relationship between workplace ostracism and discretionary work effort in the software industry focusing particularly on exploring the serial mediation role of negative affect and employee silence in this dynamic. Data were gathered from 384 software engineers. Workplace ostracism, a universally observed phenomenon, has been known for its detrimental effects across various sectors. A self-administered questionnaire was used in this quantitative research, as the nature of the research was based on the self-perception of the employees. Variance-based structural equation modeling (SEM) was used to conduct the data analysis in SmartPLS 4. Our study’s results showed that negative affect and employee silence mediate the relationship between workplace ostracism and discretionary work effort.


Andrews, S. M. (2022). The Role Of Motivation In Employee Disposition And Choosing To Act Among Manufacturing Employees: A Grounded Theory Of Discretionary Effort. Western Michigan University.

Anjum, M. A., Ahmed, A., Zhang, L., & Durrani, D. K. (2021). How Rude! Linking supervisor incivility to subordinates’ discretionary work effort. International Journal of Conflict Management.

Anjum, M. A., Liang, D., Durrani, D. K., & Ahmed, A. (2019). Workplace ostracism and discretionary work effort: a conditional process analysis. Journal of Management & Organization, 1-18.

Bashir, F., & Nadeem, M. (2019). The linkage between workplace ostracism and proactive customer service performance in Pakistani banking industry:(a conservation of resource and job embeddedness perspective). Science Journal of Business and Management, Forthcoming.

Beheshtifar, M., Borhani, H., & Moghadam, M. N. (2012). Destructive role of employee silence in organizational success. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 2(11), 275.

Bland, C. (2017). Influence of negative affect on false memory production City, University of London].

Brinsfield, C. T. (2009). Employee silence: Investigation of dimensionality, development of measures, and examination of related factors The Ohio State University].

Brinsfield, C. T. (2013). Employee silence motives: Investigation of dimensionality and development of measures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(5), 671-697.

Choi, Y. (2019). The moderating effect of leader member exchange on the relationship between workplace ostracism and psychological distress. Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration.

Chou, S. Y., & Chang, T. (2021). Feeling capable and worthy? Impact of employee silence on self-concept: Mediating role of organizational citizenship behaviors. Psychological Reports, 124(1), 266-298.

Chow, R. M., Tiedens, L. Z., & Govan, C. L. (2008). Excluded emotions: The role of anger in antisocial responses to ostracism. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(3), 896-903.

Chughtai, A. A. (2008). Impact of job involvement on in-role job performance and organizational citizenship behaviour. Journal of Behavioral and Applied Management, 9(2), 169-183.

Chung, Y. W. (2017). The role of person–organization fit and perceived organizational support in the relationship between workplace ostracism and behavioral outcomes. Australian Journal of Management, 42(2), 328-349.

Civitci, A. (2015). The Moderating Role of Positive and Negative Affect on the Relationship between Perceived Social Support and Stress in College Students. Educational Sciences Theory & Practice, 15(3), 565-573.

Covell, M. J. (2020). An Affective Events Theory Analysis of Conflict Perception Emergence City University of New York].

Farasat, M., Afzal, U., Jabeen, S., Farhan, M., & Sattar, A. (2021). Impact of Workplace Ostracism on Turnover Intention: An Empirical Study from Pakistan. The Journal of Asian Finance, Economics and Business, 8(11), 265-276.

Ferris, D. L., Berry, J., Brown, D. J., & Lian, H. (2008). When silence isnt golden: Measuring ostracism in the workplace. Academy of Management Proceedings,

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981a). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of marketing research, 18(1), 39-50.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981b). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics.

Gonzales, A. (2016). Discretionary Work Effort and Organizational Citizenship Behavior: Investigating Brazilian Teachers’ and Public Officials’ Behavior. Global Advance Research Journal Management Business Studies, 5(8), 198-204.

Hair, J. F., Ringle, C. M., & Sarstedt, M. (2011). PLS-SEM: Indeed a silver bullet. Journal of Marketing theory and Practice, 19(2), 139-152.

Hao, L., Zhu, H., He, Y., Duan, J., Zhao, T., & Meng, H. (2022). When is silence golden? A meta-analysis on antecedents and outcomes of employee silence. Journal of Business and Psychology, 37(5), 1039-1063.

John, S. P., & Manikandan, K. (2019). Employee silence: A meta-analytic review. International Journal of Indian Psychology, 7(1), 354-366.

Jyxhel Spahi, R. F. E., Nuri Brina. (2024). Why do Employees Prefer to Keep Silent? Is Fear of Managers and Management's Approach Causing Employees' Silence? Human Research in Rehabilitation, 14: (1), 149-164

Khalid, B., Iqbal, R., & Hashmi, S. D. (2020). Impact of workplace ostracism on knowledge hoarding: mediating role of defensive silence and moderating role of experiential avoidance. Future Business Journal, 6(1), 1-10.

Kwan, H. K., Li, M., Wu, X., & Xu, X. (2021). The need to belong: how to reduce workplace ostracism: . The Service Industries Journal, 1-22.

Kwan, H. K., Zhang, X., Liu, J., & Lee, C. (2018). Workplace ostracism and employee creativity: An integrative approach incorporating pragmatic and engagement roles. Journal of applied psychology, 103(12), 1358.

Laeeque, S. H., & Khan, A. (2024). The Chain Reaction from Workplace Ostracism to Knowledge hiding: Testing a Sequential Mediation Model in Pakistan’s BPO Sector. Journal of Business and Management Research, 3(1), 257-268.

Leary, M. R. (2015). Emotional responses to interpersonal rejection. Dialogues in clinical neuroscience, 17(4), 435.

LePine, J. A., Hanson, M. A., Borman, W. C., & Motowidlo, S. J. (2000). Contextual performance and teamwork: Implications for staffing. In Research in personnel and human resources management. Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Liu, H., & Xia, H. (2016). Workplace ostracism: A review and directions for future research. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 4(3), 197-201.

Lloyd, R. (2008). Discretionary Effort and the Performance Domain. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Organisational Psychology, 1(1).

Madrid, H. P., Patterson, M. G., & Leiva, P. I. (2015). Negative core affect and employee silence: How differences in activation, cognitive rumination, and problem-solving demands matter. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(6), 1887.

Maqbool, S., Černe, M., & Bortoluzzi, G. (2019). Micro-foundations of innovation. European Journal of Innovation Management.

Mirza, N. S., Haider, A., Taj, T., & Bilal, H. (2020). The impact of workplace ostracism on job performance with the mediating role of emotional exhaustion: evidence from public sector universities of Pakistan. Review of Economics and Development Studies, 6(3), 651-659.

Molden, D. C., Lucas, G. M., Gardner, W. L., Dean, K., & Knowles, M. L. (2009). Motivations for prevention or promotion following social exclusion: being rejected versus being ignored. Journal of personality and social psychology, 96(2), 415.

Morris, R. J. (2009). Employee work motivation and discretionary work effort Queensland University of Technology].

Morrison, E. W. (2023). Employee voice and silence: Taking stock a decade later. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 10, 79-107.

Ochsner, K. N. (2000). Are affective events richly recollected or simply familiar? The experience and process of recognizing feelings past. Journal of experimental psychology: general, 129(2), 242.

Rashidi, Z., & Jalbani, A. A. (2009). Job stress among software professionals in Pakistan: A Factor analytic study. J Independent Stud Res (MSSE), 7, 1-12.

Riaz, A., Shoaib, U., & Sarfraz, M. S. (2017). Workplace Design and Employee‘s Performance and Health in Software Industry of Pakistan. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 8(5), 542-548.

Russell, J. A. (2003). Core affect and the psychological construction of emotion. Psychological review, 110(1), 145.

Sahabuddin, M., Tan, Q., Ayub, A., Fatima, T., Ishaq, M., & Khan, A. J. (2023). Workplace ostracism and employee silence: an identity-based perspective. Kybernetes, 52(1), 97-120.

Sakurai, K., & Jex, S. M. (2012). Coworker incivility and incivility targets' work effort and counterproductive work behaviors: The moderating role of supervisor social support. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 17(2), 150.

Sarfraz, M., Qun, W., Sarwar, A., Abdullah, M. I., Imran, M. K., & Shafique, I. (2019). Mitigating effect of perceived organizational support on stress in the presence of workplace ostracism in the Pakistani nursing sector. Psychology research and behavior management, 12, 839.

Sethupathy, A. R., Mua’ti, A., Ahmad, Z., Ghazali, A. H. B., & Yaakup, H. S. B. (2018). School Based Assessment And The Silence Behaviour Among Secondary School Teachers In Kuala Langat, Selangor Darul Ehsan. American Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences Research, 2(3).

Shah, M., & Hashmi, M. S. (2019). Relationship between organizational culture and knowledge hiding in software industry: Mediating role of workplace ostracism and workplace incivility. Pakistan Journal of Commerce and Social Sciences (PJCSS), 13(4), 934-952.

Shahzad, F., Xiu, G., & Shahbaz, M. (2017). Organizational culture and innovation performance in Pakistan's software industry. Technology in Society, 51, 66-73.

Sharafizad, J., & Redmond, J. (2020). Discretionary effort of higher education sector employees: motivators and inhibitors. Studies in Higher Education, 45(6), 1261-1279.

Sharafizad, J., Redmond, J., & Morris, R. (2020). Leadership/management factors impact on employee engagement and discretionary effort. International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, 23(1), 43-64.

Shoobridge, G. (2020). Discretionary Effort Is a ‘Gift’ – Don’t Take It for Granted!

Stouten, J., Tripp, T. M., Bies, R. J., & De Cremer, D. (2019). When something is not right: The value of silence. Academy of Management Perspectives, 33(3), 323-333.

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of personality and social psychology, 54(6), 1063.

Weiss, H. M., & Cropanzano, R. (1996). Affective events theory: A theoretical discussion of the structure, causes and consequences of affective experiences at work.

Yao, L., Ayub, A., Ishaq, M., Arif, S., Fatima, T., & Sohail, H. M. (2022). Workplace ostracism and employee silence in service organizations: the moderating role of negative reciprocity beliefs. International Journal of Manpower, 43(6), 1378-1404.

Yeo, G. B., & Neal, A. (2004). A multilevel analysis of effort, practice, and performance: effects; of ability, conscientiousness, and goal orientation. Journal of applied psychology, 89(2), 231.

Yu, W.-h., & Kuo, J. C.-L. (2023). Going the extra mile at work: Relationships between working conditions and discretionary work effort. Plos one, 18(8), e0288521.

Zhu, H., Lyu, Y., Deng, X., & Ye, Y. (2017). Workplace ostracism and proactive customer service performance: A conservation of resources perspective. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 64, 62-72.




How to Cite

Linking Workplace Ostracism with Discretionary Work Effort: A Serial Mediation Model of the Software Industry. (2024). International Research Journal of Management and Social Sciences, 5(1), 324-338.

Similar Articles

1-10 of 73

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.