Abusive Supervision and Employee Empowerment: The Moderating Role of Resilience and Workplace Friendship

Source: Ayesha Arshad, Peter Y. T. Sun, Fabrice Desmarais, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, March 30, 2021
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From the abstract:
Several studies have explored why employees leave their organization in the face of abusive supervision. However, there is a lack of research on what makes employees continue with employment despite being affected by abusive supervision. This study responds to the calls made to analyze multiple mechanisms that employees use to cope with abusive supervision. It addresses this gap by examining employees’ psychological and social resources that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. We specifically consider employee psychological and structural empowerment, as well as resilience and workplace friendship. This is a time-lagged study using a sample of 146 postgraduate students who have a minimum of 2 years of work experience. Utilizing the tenets of conservation of resources theory, we find that damage to psychological empowerment plays a significant role in diminishing the work engagement and creativity of employees, as compared to structural empowerment. We also find that workplace friendship plays a significant role in weakening the damaging effects of abusive supervision on structural empowerment. Future studies should consider other psychological and social mechanisms that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. Moreover, organizations should work toward developing a culture of sharing and support between coworkers.