A study of abusive supervision : its impact on Hong Kong subordinates' attitudes and behaviors

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A study of abusive supervision : its impact on Hong Kong subordinates' attitudes and behaviors

 

Author: Leung, Chi-kong David
Title: A study of abusive supervision : its impact on Hong Kong subordinates' attitudes and behaviors
Degree: D.B.A.
Year: 2003
Subject: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Supervision of employees
Organizational behavior
Employees -- Attitudes
Department: Graduate School of Business
Pages: vii, 168 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b1737672
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/2656
Abstract: Although increasing attention has been given to abusive supervision in recent years, there has as yet been relatively little research done in Hong Kong in this area, despite the fact that there is reason to believe that abusive supervision may be common here. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of abusive supervision on subordinates. Drawing on social exchange and equity theory, the study tests the relationship between abusive supervision and six outcome variables, with organizational justice treated as a mediator and co-worker social support as a moderator. The proposed model was tested on a sample of 241 Hong Kong Chinese subordinates working in several organizations. Findings suggested that distributive, procedural and interactional justice mediated the relationship between abusive supervision and five outcome variables (i.e., job satisfaction, loyalty to supervisor, affective commitment, intention to quit, and OCB-Compliance), but not the sixth outcome variable, resistance. It was found that coworker social support moderated the relationships between organizational justice and some of the outcome variables but in the opposite way to the hypothesized pattern. In particular, coworker social support appeared to: a) strengthen the negative relationship between all three dimensions of organizational justice and resistance, b) strengthen the positive relationship between interactional justice and loyalty to supervisor, and c) strengthen the negative relationship between interactional justice and intention to quit. It was also hypothesized that coworker social support would mitigate the negative impacts of abusive supervision. However, the significant effects were in the opposite direction, with higher coworker social support being associated with a stronger negative relationship between abusive supervision and job satisfaction, and loyalty to supervisor, and a stronger positive relationship between abusive supervision and resistance. Thus, contrary to the "buffering" hypothesis, higher levels of coworker social support appeared to intensify the effects of abusive supervision and organization justice on outcomes. An interpretation of these unexpected findings is provided, in terms of a reverse buffering effect. The implications of the findings for business practitioners and future research are discussed.

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