Geniuses are Always Lonely?
An Actor-focused Perspective on Moral Licensing and
Psychological Entitlement Effect

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Project Investigator
Dr. Chen Chen
Sun Yat-sen University
Dr. Lu Jiafang
Associate Director
and Research Fellow of APCLC,
The Education University of Hong Kong
Funding Source
National Natural Science Foundation
of China 國家自然科學基金
Project Duration


Research on workplace ostracism has focused primarily on investigating this phenomenon from the perspective of targets (i.e. the ostracized person). Although a receiver perspective is imperative for understanding the antecedents and consequences of being ostracized, little is known about why individuals ostracize others in the first place. Examining this question requires moving from a receiver to an actor perspective, focusing on predictors of ostracism.

This study tries to take an actor-focused perspective to understanding antecedents of workplace ostracism behavior. Drawing on role identity theory and moral licensing theory, we propose that an individual’s creative role identity positively relates to the degree to which individuals ostracize others. Further, moral licensing and psychological entitlement mediates the relationship between creative role identity and workplace ostracism behavior. Additionally, we propose that individuals’ moral identity and group ethical climate will moderate this indirect process such that high moral identity or high group ethical climate diminishes this effect.

To examine this model, we plan to choose both qualitative methods and quantitative methods to reveal the dynamics between creative role identity and workplace ostracism behavior. This research will make both theoretical and practical contributes to antecedents of workplace ostracism and the dark side of creativity, and provides several important implications for managerial practices.