Coping with perceived abusive supervision: the role of paranoia

Lopes, B.C., Kamau, C. and Jaspal, R. ORCID: 0000-0002-8463-9519, 2019. Coping with perceived abusive supervision: the role of paranoia. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 26 (2), pp. 237-255. ISSN 1548-0518

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Two studies (a cross-sectional survey of 90 U.K. workers and an experiment with 100 U.K. workers) examined the cognitive and behavioral effects of abusive supervision. Both studies confirmed the hypothesis that workers who experience abusive supervision show paranoia and that makes them more prone to a type of cognitive error called the "sinister attribution error." This is where workers misattribute innocent workplace events such as tripping over something or hearing colleagues laughing to malevolent motives such as wanting to harm or mock them. Study 1 also showed that abusive supervision is associated with lower well-being. Perceived organizational support buffers these effects, and this is associated with workers making fewer sinister attribution errors, thereby protecting well-being. Study 2 explored the role of contextual cues by exposing workers to images of abusive supervision. This increased their paranoia and contributed to workers making sinister attribution errors when they were asked to interpret workplace events. Moreover, depending on the types of contextual cues, workers were more likely to express the intention of workplace deviance after thinking about past experiences of abusive supervision. We recommend that corporate ethical responsibilities include training managers and workers about the negative cognitive and mental health effects of abusive supervision.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies
Creators: Lopes, B.C., Kamau, C. and Jaspal, R.
Publisher: Sage
Date: May 2019
Volume: 26
Number: 2
ISSN: 1548-0518
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 06 Apr 2020 09:37
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2020 09:37

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