Who Suffers When Supervisors are Unhappy? The Roles of Leader–Member Exchange and Abusive Supervision

Su Ying Pan, Jia Lin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing upon research on power/resource interdependence and victim precipitation theory, we also test whether the positive relationship between supervisors’ negative affect and abusive supervision is moderated by leader–member exchange (LMX). Using one hundred and eighty supervisor–subordinate dyads from five hotels, we found that, (a) supervisors’ negative affect at work was positively related to abusive supervision, (b) LMX buffered the positive association between supervisors’ negative affect and abusive supervision, and (c) the indirect effects of supervisors’ negative affect on subordinate outcomes (higher negative affect at work, lower job satisfaction, and fewer personal initiatives) via abusive supervision was buffered by LMX, such that the indirect effects were only found in dyads with lower LMX, but not in dyads with higher LMX. Theoretical contributions and practical implications for managers and organizations were also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)799–811
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Abusive supervision
  • Cognitive-neoassociationistic model of aggression
  • Job satisfaction
  • Leader–member exchange
  • Negative affect
  • Personal initiative
  • Supervisor–subordinate dyads

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Law
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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