Date of Award

5-1-2012

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Stockdale, Margaret

Second Advisor

Jones, Eric

Abstract

Workplace ostracism is a ubiquitous phenomenon that can have negative implications for both individuals and organizations. Despite evidence indicating that ostracism is a painful experience associated with detrimental health and work-related outcomes, very little research has investigated the potential role of personal resources and workplace interventions in mitigating the prevalence and harmful impact of ostracism on employees. Mindfulness--due to its implications for enhanced attention in personal interactions, heightened awareness of others' needs, and acceptance of stressful situations--is one such resource that could prove beneficial in this regard. The current research examined the role of both trait and state mindfulness in reducing the propensity to commit ostracizing behaviors and attenuating perceptions of being "out of the loop" due to one's own lack of attention. Additionally, mindfulness was expected to buffer the harmful impact of workplace ostracism on need satisfaction, and thus have relevance for more distal health-related (i.e., psychological well-being) and work-related (i.e., job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behaviors) outcomes. Three studies investigated these relationships through cross-sectional (Study 1), experimental laboratory-based (Study 2), and quasi-experimental intervention-based (Study 3) designs. Evidence of the benefits of mindfulness in decreasing exclusionary behaviors and protecting targets of ostracism was apparent in each study. The current studies yield support for the relevance of mindfulness in addressing the substantial problem of ostracism within workplaces and other organizations.

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