Being Ostracized Versus Out of the Loop: Redundant or Unique Predictors of Variance in Workplace Outcomes?J Appl Soc Psychol. 2021 Jan; 51(1):17-31.JA
Based on the existing research, being excluded from information (i.e., being out of the loop) produces similar consequences as being ignored or excluded from activities. Consequently, one might wonder whether it is necessary to measure or study different types of exclusion in the workplace context, rather than just assessing a single type of exclusion. The current research investigated the associations between two types of workplace exclusion (i.e., being ostracized and being left out of the loop) and various workplace outcomes, with the purpose of determining whether these different types of exclusion predict unique or redundant variance in these workplace outcomes. In Study 1, we obtained better model fit when we assigned items measuring out-of-the-loop experiences at work to a different factor than items assessing experiences with ostracism at work. In Study 2, we observed that measuring employees' experiences with being out of the loop predicted unique variance in workplace outcomes (e.g., job satisfaction), above and beyond experiences with ostracism at work. Relative weight analyses suggested that both ostracism and out-of-the-loop experiences were equally important predictors of these outcomes. Together, these studies indicate that being ostracized and being left out of the loop may be distinct exclusion experiences and better predictions about workplace outcomes can be made by assessing both types of exclusion. On a practical level, measuring different types of exclusion may prove useful, because organizations may need to implement different interventions for addressing distinct types of exclusion.