The research examined the circumstances under which observers believe a worker would remain in a situation where abusive supervision occurs and the perceived reasons why such supervision happens. Eight different vignettes were created by independently varying the age and experience of the worker (young and inexperienced or older and experienced), the status of the boss (high or low), and the benefits and compensation the worker received (high or low). In all vignettes the male boss abusively responds to a report completed by a female worker. Undergraduate men and women business students at a Midwestern university read one of the vignettes and indicated whether the worker would stay at the company under the circumstances described in the vignette. The subjects were also asked to rate the degree to which they agreed with eight reasons for the boss’s behavior and five reasons for why the worker would remain in the situation. Several significant effects for the independent variables were obtained along with a number of gender effects. The implications of the results for abusive supervision are discussed along with the limitations of the research.
Sabastian, Richard J.; Bristow, Dennis; and Longfield, Caity
"Abusive Supervision: Observer Perceptions of Causes and Consequences,"
Journal of the North American Management Society: Vol. 2:
2, Article 4.
Available at: https://thekeep.eiu.edu/jnams/vol2/iss2/4