Contagion Effects of Abusive Supervision Climate: A Multilevel Study

2017-05-09T04:40:07Z (GMT) by Shahid Khan
Abusive supervision climate (ASC) affects not only subordinates but also their colleagues who work in the same group; however, little is known about how it impacts them. To constitute an ASC at the group level, this research employed the referent-shift consensus model to aggregate subordinates’ perceptions of supervisory abuse. Furthermore, the present research examined the effects of ASC on subordinates’ anger and subsequent work performance. Specifically, drawing from the affective events theory (AET), this study examined the indirect effects of an ASC on group members’ organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB) and withdrawal, via the mediating role of anger. In addition, group members’ agreeableness and neuroticism were predicted to moderate the relationship between group members’ anger and work behaviours. Analyses of data collected from 51 work groups across different organisations and industries in Pakistan revealed that ASC was negatively related to OCBs, and that anger mediated the relationship between ASC and both outcomes (OCBs and withdrawal). In addition, agreeableness was found to moderate the effect of group members’ anger on OCBs, such that the negative relationship was stronger for group members who rated higher on agreeableness.
The findings contribute to the abusive supervision literature by focusing on the largely overlooked group members’ aggregated perception of abusive supervision. In so doing, this study constituted ASC. In addition, the cross-level effects of ASC on group members’ behaviour has been examined via their anger as a mediating link in transmitting the adverse effects of ASC on group members’ OCBs and withdrawal, thereby explaining the process through which ASC affects group members’ behaviours. Furthermore, it incorporates their personality differences in order to better understand their behavioural responses in a negative emotional state (anger). Further theoretical contributions and practical implications are discussed at the conclusion of the document.