Subordinates’ competence: a potential trigger for workplace ostracism

Article


Chang, K., Kuo, C-C., Quinton, S., Lee, I., Cheng, T-C. and Huang, S-K. 2021. Subordinates’ competence: a potential trigger for workplace ostracism. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 32 (8), pp. 1801-1827. https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2019.1579246
AuthorsChang, K., Kuo, C-C., Quinton, S., Lee, I., Cheng, T-C. and Huang, S-K.
Abstract

While the competence of subordinates is considered desirable in the workplace, it may create challenges in managing people in organizations. This study examines why subordinates’ competence triggers ostracism within the workplace based on social comparison theory and previous insecurity studies. Data from both managers (N = 130) and their subordinates (N = 231) provided findings which affirm that, first, some managers regard competent subordinates as potential challengers and thus develop a feeling of insecurity, which creates motivation for the ostracism of those competent subordinates. Second, those subordinates who feel ostracized by managers may show less commitment toward their managers, feel less confident and engage in negative gossip about their managers. The implications of competence triggered ostracism for management include that competent subordinates require active management and development to avoid potentially damaging relationships between managers and subordinates emerging which would be detrimental to the organization.

JournalThe International Journal of Human Resource Management
Journal citation32 (8), pp. 1801-1827
ISSN0958-5192
Year2021
PublisherTaylor & Francis (Routledge)
Accepted author manuscript
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2019.1579246
Publication dates
Online02 Apr 2019
Print2021
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Nov 2018
Deposited07 Jun 2023
Copyright holder© 2019, The Author(s)
Additional information

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in The International Journal of Human Resource Management on 2 Apr 2019, available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09585192.2019.1579246

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