Abusive supervision is defined by hurtful behaviors and is associated with many negative outcomes. This has made it easy for researchers to overlook the possibility that some supervisors regret their bad behavior and express remorse for their actions. Hence, we know little about how subordinates react to the perception that their supervisor is remorseful and how this perception affects the relationship or other organizational outcomes. We address this possibility by developing a measure of victim perceptions of supervisor remorse (PSR) and examining the consequences PSR might have on complicated supervisor–subordinate relationships. Drawing on the remorse and justice literatures, we maintain that PSR will mitigate the detrimental effects of abusive supervision on various subordinate outcomes. Collective results from 2 multiple-wave studies indicate that PSR reduces the indirect effects of abusive supervision on turnover intentions and organization-based self-esteem (OBSE). This indirect effect operates through leader–member exchange and interactional justice. PSR is also shown to have direct effects on OBSE and subordinates' resistance. Our research contributes to abusive supervision literature by showing the possibility of supervisors regretting their hostile behavior and the importance of PSR's role in decreasing detrimental effects of abusive supervision.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Sociology and Political Science
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management