Phenomenology of Retaliating to Workplace Ostracism in Academia


  • Tehreem Fatima The University of Lahore
  • Ahmad Raza Bilal Sohar University
  • Muhammad Kashif Imran The Islamia University of Bahawalpur


Workplace ostracism, psychological ramifications, behavioral responses


The present qualitative inquiry sheds light on the psychological ramifications and behavioral responses of workplace ostracism in Higher Educational Institutes of Pakistan. The data was collected from 20 ostracized teaching faculty members from public and private sector universities through semi-structured interviews. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and thematic analysis was carried out by NVIVO 11 Plus software. This was supplemented by content analysis to find the strength of each theme in the form of relative frequencies. The findings revealed three major themes; (1) psychological ramifications manifested in threatened needs and negative emotional reactions, (2) behavioral responses (pro-social, antisocial, and avoidant), (3) the underlying causes of diverse behavioral responses. It was found that negative psychological impacts of ostracism were inevitable, but behavioral responses were primarily pro-social due to ostracized faculty’s future-orientation, high importance of maintaining relationships, absence of alternative relations, less exposure to ostracism, and re-inclusion expectations.