Abusive supervisory reactions to coworker relationship conflict

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Abusive supervisory reactions to coworker relationship conflict
The Leadership Quarterly

This study extends research on abusive supervision by exploring how supervisor reports of conflict with their coworkers are related to abusive behaviors and resulting outcomes. We utilize research on displaced aggression conflict and leader–member exchange (LMX) theory to formulate our hypotheses. Results from two samples of 121 and 134 matched supervisor– subordinate dyads support the idea that supervisors experiencing coworker relationship conflict are likely to engage in abusive behaviors directed toward their subordinates and that LMX quality moderates this relationship. Additionally abusive supervision was associated with
decreased work effort and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB). Results also indicate that in both samples abusive supervision mediates the relationships between supervisor reports of coworker relationship conflict and OCB and in one sample mediates the association between supervisor-reported coworker relationship conflict and work effort.

The Leadership Quarterly 22 (2011) 1010 – 1023

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