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Anchored in a social control theory framework, this study aims to investigate the mediating effect of defensive silence in the relationship between employees' perception of supervisor ostracism and their creative performance, as well as the buffering role of proactivity in this process.Design/methodology/approachThe hypotheses were tested using three-wave survey data collected from employees in North American organizations.FindingsThe authors found that an important reason for supervisor ostracism adversely affecting employee creativity is their observance of defensive silence. This mechanism, in turn, is less prominent among employees who show agency and change-oriented behavior (i.e. proactivity).Practical implicationsFor practitioners, this study identifies defensive silence as a key mechanism through which supervisor ostracism hinders employee creativity. Further, this process is less likely to escalate when their proactivity makes them less vulnerable to experience such social exclusion.Originality/valueThis study establishes a more complete understanding of the connection between supervisor ostracism and employee creativity, with particular attention to mediating mechanism of defensive silence and the moderating role of proactivity in this relationship.
Leadership & Organization Development Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 23, 2021
Keywords: Supervisor ostracism; Defensive silence; Creativity; Social control theory; North America
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