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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology