Double jeopardy: subordinates' worldviews and poor performance as predictors of abusive supervision

Abdul Karim Khan, Samina Quratulain, Jonathan Crawshaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose - To test a moderated mediation model where a positive relationship between subordinates’ perceptions of a dangerous world—the extent to which an individual views the world as a dangerous place—and supervisory abuse is mediated by their submission to authority figures, and that this relationship is heightened for more poorly performing employees.
Design/Methodology/Approach - Data were obtained from 173 subordinates and 45 supervisors working in different private sector organizations in Pakistan.
Findings - Our model was supported. It appears that subordinates’ dangerous worldviews are positively associated with their perceptions of abusive supervision and that this is because such views are likely to lead to greater submission to authority figures. But this is only for those employees who are performing more poorly.
Implications - We highlight the possibility that individual differences (worldviews, attitudes to authority figures, and performance levels) may lead employees to become victims of abusive supervision. As such, our research informs organizations on how they may better support supervisors in managing effectively their subordinate relationships and, in particular, subordinate poor performance.
Originality/Value - We add to recent work exploring subordinate-focused antecedents of abusive supervision, finding support for the salience of the previously untested constructs of individual worldviews, authoritarian submission, and individual job performance. In so doing we also extend research on dangerous worldviews into a new organizational setting. Finally, our research takes place within a new Pakistani context, adding to the burgeoning non-US based body of empirical work into the antecedents and consequences of abusive supervision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165–178
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Volume32
Issue number2
Early online date11 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10869-016-9442-0

Keywords

  • abusive supervision
  • authoritarian submission
  • subordinate’s performance
  • dangerous worldviews
  • victim precipitation theory
  • dual-process model

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