Rejected! The harmful effects of workgroup mistreatment and the moderating role of organisational norms

Penhaligon, Nikki Louise (2010) Rejected! The harmful effects of workgroup mistreatment and the moderating role of organisational norms. PhD by Publication, University of Queensland.

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Abstract

This program of research investigated the harmful effects of mistreatment by the workgroup, and the role of perceived rejection as a critical mediator linking mistreatment and outcomes. This research program had three primary purposes. First, the research aimed to examine the important role of workgroup mistreatment as an independent predictor of negative outcomes, over and above the influence of supervisor mistreatment. Second, the research aimed to examine the effect of perceived rejection as an explanatory variable linking workgroup mistreatment and outcomes. Finally, the moderating effect of organizational norms on the relationship between workgroup mistreatment and perceived rejection was examined. The relationships of interest were examined over four studies, using multiple methods of data collection, across part-time and full-time working samples. In Study 1 (Chapter 2), the independent role of workgroup mistreatment and the mediating role of perceived rejection were examined. One hundred and forty two part-time working participants took part in the study. The participants completed a questionnaire on workplace behaviors in their organizations. The results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed a strong harmful effect of workgroup mistreatment, independent of mistreatment by the supervisor. In addition, the results showed that perceived rejection fully mediated the relationship between workgroup mistreatment and depression and organizational based self esteem. The study highlighted that perceived rejection acts as a key underlying psychological mechanism involved in the effect of workgroup mistreatment. This study has been published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Study 2 and Study 3 were presented as one paper in Chapter 3. The aims of these two studies was to explore the effects of workgroup mistreatment on a wider range of individual and organizational level outcomes, and to provide further evidence of the mediating role of perceived rejection as observed in Study 1. The results from both studies demonstrated that workgroup mistreatment had a significant and independent role in predicting negative individual and organizational level outcomes, providing support for the findings of Study 1. In the first study, 189 participants received scenarios manipulating workgroup mistreatment and supervisor mistreatment. The results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed that workgroup mistreatment harmfully affected participants, over and above that of the supervisor. The results also demonstrated that perceived rejection mediated the positive relationships between workgroup mistreatment and depression and organizational deviance, and also the negative relationships between workgroup mistreatment and organizational based self esteem and organizational citizenship behaviors. The second study included an additional aim, to examine the moderating role of supportive organizational norms. Two hundred and twenty nine participants read scenarios that manipulated workgroup mistreatment, supervisor mistreatment and organizational norms. The results of hierarchical regression analyses revealed the significant harmful effects of workgroup mistreatment, over and above the influence of supervisor mistreatment. The results also revealed the mediating role of perceived rejection. The direct effect of positive organizational norms also emerged, consistent with previous research. In addition, the result revealed that employees who experienced supportive organizational norms were more likely to reconcile with their workgroup members after experiencing mistreatment compared to employees who experienced hostile organizational norms. Finally, an unexpected pattern on the key affective variables of depression and organizational based self esteem emerged, such that mistreatment led to more negative outcomes in the supportive norms condition than in the hostile condition, where employees appeared to be desensitized. This paper is currently under review at the Journal of Applied Social Psychology. In Study 4 (Chapter 4), the overall model of workplace mistreatment was tested on a sample of full-time workers in an applied setting. One hundred and seventy two adults took part in the study. Participants were required to evaluate their workplace regarding mistreatment and organizational norms and to report their own psychological, behavioral and organizational outcomes. The results revealed that workgroup mistreatment was associated with increased depression, stress and avoidance, over and above supervisor mistreatment. In addition, the results revealed that perceived rejection acted as an explanatory variable linking workgroup mistreatment to a number of outcomes. Furthermore, the moderating role of hostile organizational norms emerged on depression, stress, reconciliation and avoidance. This paper is currently under review at the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology. Overall, the four studies provided empirical support for the majority of the hypotheses. The effects were demonstrated for a range of psychological, behavioral, and organizational level outcomes, using multiple methods of data collection, across part-time and full-time workers. At the conclusion of the thesis (Chapter 5), an overall summary is provided of the findings across all four studies, practical and theoretical implications and research directions.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 83486
Item Type: Thesis (PhD by Publication)
Refereed: No
Keywords: Workgroup mistreatment, Perceived rejection, Organizational norms
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Division of Administrative Services
Institution: University of Queensland
Deposited On: 12 Apr 2015 22:59
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2015 22:59

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