Abusive supervision and workplace deviance: the role of negative reciprocity

Source: Guglielmo Faldetta, International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Volume 29 Issue 4, July 2021
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From the abstract:
Purpose
This study aims to explore the process that, from abusive supervision, leads to the different kinds of workplace deviant behaviors, using the norm of negative reciprocity as the main mechanism that can trigger this process.

Design/methodology/approach
This study is based on a literature review from organizational behavior and reciprocity fields and builds a theoretical model on the relationship between abusive supervision and workplace deviance within organizations.

Findings
This study develops a theoretical model where abusive supervision causes a feeling of injustice, which can motivate employees to seek revenge in the form of workplace deviant behaviors. Moreover, negative direct balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and minor interpersonal workplace deviance; negative direct non-balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and severe interpersonal workplace deviance; negative generalized balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and minor organizational workplace deviance; negative generalized non-balanced reciprocity will moderate the relationship between the desire for revenge and severe organizational workplace deviance.

Originality/value
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Previous studies have used negative reciprocity as a moderator, but for the first time, it is split in direct and generalized and in balanced and non-balanced. In particular, when direct negative reciprocity is present, the revenge will take the form of interpersonal workplace deviance; when generalized negative reciprocity is present, the revenge will take the form of organizational workplace deviance. On the other side, when balanced reciprocity is present, revenge will take the form of minor workplace deviance, while when non-balanced reciprocity is present, revenge will take the form of severe workplace deviance.