We investigated the turnover intentions of employees who perceive that they are being treated with more or less abusive supervision than their coworkers. We call this incongruent abusive supervision. Our findings support our theory that employees associate incongruent abusive supervision with concerns of social exclusion from their coworkers. Furthermore, this appraisal of social exclusion threat is associated with feelings of shame, which, in turn, increase turnover intentions. Two experimental vignettes and a two-wave survey provide robust support for our theoretical model. These findings highlight coworkers’ abusive supervision as an important context for the experience of one’s own abusive supervision and introduce shame as an emotional mechanism important for understanding employee responses to supervisor abuse.
Benjamin Korman is a PhD Candidate under the supervision of Christian Tröster in the field of Organizational Behavior and Leadership at the Kühne Logistics University. Prior to joining the KLU in August 2016, Benjamin received his B.Sc. in Biopsychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his M.Sc. in Cognitive Neuroscience from Leiden University in the Netherlands. His Master’s Thesis explored the relationship between structural brain anatomy and cognitive deficits in various psychiatric populations. Now his scientific investigations explore the influence of social comparisons on employees in the workplace and how such comparisons affect employee inspiration.
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