Coping with Workplace Ostracism: The Roles of Ingratiation and Political Skill in Employee Psychological Distress


Ho Kwong Kwan, Department of Management, Academic Building, Drexel University, 101 North 33rd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA (


The study reported here examined the relationship between workplace ostracism and employee psychological distress (i.e. job tension, emotional exhaustion, and depressed mood at work) by focusing on the joint moderating effects of ingratiation and political skill. Data from a two-wave survey of 215 employees in two oil and gas firms in China indicated that as predicted, workplace ostracism was positively related to psychological distress. Moreover, the findings showed that when employee political skill was high, ingratiation neutralized the relationship between workplace ostracism and psychological distress, but when it was low, ingratiation exacerbated the relationship.