Abusive supervision and work performance: The moderating role of abusive supervision variability

Lian Zhou1
1School of Management, Guangdong University of Technology, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, L. (2016). Abusive supervision and work performance: The moderating role of abusive supervision variability. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 44(7), 1089-1098.

Volume 44 Issue 7 | e5231 | Published: August 2016 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2016.44.7.1089

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I drew on situational strength theory to develop and test a cross-level contingent model to explain how the dispersion-based conceptualization of group-level abusive supervision (i.e., abusive supervision variability) affects subordinates’ work performance. Analysis of multisource, longitudinal data of 242 supervisor–subordinate dyads from 82 groups showed that abusive supervision was negatively related to job performance and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). Further, results of moderated path analysis showed abusive supervision variability augmented the negative impacts of abusive supervision on job performance and OCB, such that these negative relationships would be stronger when the variability of abusive supervision was low as opposed to high. I discuss the implications of abusive supervision variability as it relates to understanding the impact of abusive supervision on subordinates’ performance.

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