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The influence of abusive supervision on employees’ motivation and extra-role behaviors: The daily-basis investigation

Published on Aug 5, 2019in Chinese Management Studies0.936
· DOI :10.1108/cms-04-2018-0495
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to attempt to unlock how and why abusive supervision influences employees’ day-to-day behaviors. Thus, the present study proposes that employees who are continuously faced with a supervisor’s hostile verbal and nonverbal behavior might obstruct their willingness to exhibit two different kinds of extra-role behaviors [i.e. organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and voice] because sustained abusive behavior might hinder employees from their tasks and result in disengagement. Abused employees are more likely to disengage from their current tasks, and this is likely to in turn result in lower OCB and voice. Design/methodology/approach The data were collected from a Taiwan mid-sized high-tech manufacturing company. The present study adopted a within-person approach (a daily-basis research design) and collected data from 60 front-line employees over 10 working days. Although all variables were self-rated, common method variance is minor. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was conducted to ensure discriminant and convergent validity, and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to test the hypotheses. Findings The results of CFA ensure the measures have discriminant and convergent validity, while the results of HLM analysis showed that work engagement fully mediates the negative relationship between abusive supervision and the two kinds of extra-role behaviors. The bootstrapping results also support the full mediation effect of work engagement. Originality/value The present study used the job demands-resources model to examine how abusive supervision influences employees’ OCB and voice and found that work engagement is one possible mechanism between these two types of extra-role behavior. Specifically, a daily research design discovered that in a given working day, once a leader exhibits abusive supervision behavior, compared with any given day without abusive behaviors, employees will find it difficult to focus on their current tasks (i.e. through exhibiting decreased work engagement), which will in turn influence their willingness to exhibit OCB and voice on that particular day. Thus, both researchers and managers should focus on the daily interactions between leaders and employees because it is impossible to achieve organization success in one day, but rather such success is the aggregate result of both leaders’ and employees’ daily efforts.
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