The role of emotional exhaustion, vigor, and negative affectivity in the abusive supervision - Work outcomes relationship


Michael A. Leven School of Management, Entrepreneurship and Hospitality

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Extending trait activation theory (TAT), we examined the processes linking abusive supervision to subordinate job performance and job satisfaction by focusing on the mediating influence of subordinate vigor and emotional exhaustion and the moderating role of trait-level negative affectivity (NA) on these relationships. Using time-separated data collected from two samples of employees working in various industries and moderated mediation analyses, we found both emotional exhaustion and vigor played unique mediating roles on the relationship between abusive supervision and job satisfaction and performance. In post hoc analyses, we also found emotional exhaustion and vigor were both significant mediators of the abusive supervision-counterproductive work behavior relationship. Drawing upon TAT, we argued that employees high in NA view the world in a negative light and should be less affected by abusive supervision than those low in NA, given their general negative expectations. Results demonstrated that NA was a significant moderator of the negative relationship between abusive supervision and vigor across studies. Specifically, low NA individuals experienced more of a drop-off in vigor at high levels of abusive supervision than did individuals high in NA who experienced high levels of abusive supervision. Contributions to theory and research, and directions for future research, are discussed.

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Emerging Trends in Global Organizational Science Phenomena: Critical Roles of Politics, Leadership, Stress, and Context

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