It's not just the victim: Bystanders' emotional and behavioural reactions towards abusive supervision

Yitong Yu, Yanning Li, Shi (Tracy) Xu, Gang Li

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study, we used deonance theory, attribution theory, spillover effects, and power distance to explore how abusive supervision influences bystanders in the hospitality and tourism industry. In-depth semi-structured interviews revealed an integrated representation of bystanders' emotional and behavioural reactions, ranging from negative emotions to unconcerned and exclusionary feelings, from supportive behaviours to avoidance, gossip, and learning behaviours. We also identified important factors influencing these emotional and behavioural reactions such as trust, power distance, social-cultural context, the tourism and hospitality context, victims' spillover, and bystanders' attribution. This study is one of the first to investigate the influence of abusive supervision from a bystander's perspective. Thus, the findings provide a novel perspective for assessing and understanding abusive supervision through a critical and comprehensive theoretical lens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104506
JournalTourism Management
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • Abusive supervision
  • Attribution theory
  • Bystander
  • China
  • Power distance
  • Spillover effects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


Dive into the research topics of 'It's not just the victim: Bystanders' emotional and behavioural reactions towards abusive supervision'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this