Does power distance exacerbate or mitigate the effects of abusive supervision? It depends on the outcome

Huiwen Lian, D. Lance Ferris, Douglas J. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

222 Scopus citations

Abstract

We predicted that the effects of abusive supervision are likely to be moderated by subordinate power distance orientation and that the nature of the moderating effect will depend on the outcome. Drawing upon work suggesting that high power distance orientation subordinates are more tolerant of supervisory mistreatment, we posited that high power distance orientation subordinates would be less likely to view abusive supervision as interpersonally unfair. Drawing upon social learning theory suggestions that high power distance orientation subordinates are more likely to view supervisors as role models, we posited that high power distance orientation subordinates would be more likely to pattern their own interpersonally deviant behavior after that of abusive supervisors. Across 3 samples we found support for our predicted interactions, culminating in a mediated moderation model demonstrating that social learning mediates the interaction of abusive supervision and power distance on subordinate interpersonal deviance, while ruling out alternate self-regulation impairment or displaced aggression explanations. Implications for the abusive supervision literature are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-123
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume97
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Does power distance exacerbate or mitigate the effects of abusive supervision? It depends on the outcome'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this