Feeling shame in the workplace: Examining negative feedback as an antecedent and performance and well-being as consequences

Lu Xing, Jian min Sun*, Denise Jepsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Shame is a powerful but understudied emotion in organizational settings, and its antecedents and consequences have been of key interest. Drawing on Daniels and Robinson's (2019) framework of organizational shame, we first investigated supervisor negative feedback, a common practice in supervisor–subordinate interactions, as a predictor of employees' shame. We further investigated the daily effects of shame on well-being and performance. The hypothesized model was tested using a daily diary method from 119 full-time employees across five consecutive working days. The results show that supervisor negative feedback is associated with employees' feelings of shame at the within-person level, increasing their end-of-work emotional exhaustion while improving their next-day in-role and extra-role performance. Further, individual-level leader–member exchange (LMX) moderated the relationship between negative feedback and shame, with the relationship being stronger under high LMX. We discuss how our study contributes to the shame literature by emphasizing the predictive role of negative feedback and the repair motive of shame in determining its consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 8 Aug 2021

Keywords

  • emotional exhaustion
  • in-role and extra-role performance
  • leader–member exchange
  • shame
  • supervisor negative feedback

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