Abusive Leadership and Helping Behavior: Capability or Mood, which Matters?
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Occurrences of abusive supervision are steadily rising. Previous studies have tried to explain the influence of abusive leadership on workplace outcomes from perspectives of organizational justice and leader-member exchange based on the social exchange theory. Yet, a need exists for new explanations and mechanisms related to the influence of abusive leadership. As such, this paper aims to discover new mechanisms of abusive leadership effect. Drawing from social cognitive and affective events theories, we establish a dual process model to investigate how abusive leadership affects employees’ helping behaviors from motivational and emotional perspectives. We examine whether employees’ self-efficacy and negative affectivity mediate the relationship between abusive leadership and helping behaviors. The data were collected from 262 employees in China. The results indicate that abusive leadership has a negative impact on helping behaviors. Self-efficacy plays a role as a mediator, while negative affectivity does not play a role as a mediator in the abusive leadership—helping behavior relationship. Organizations should spend much time and money training managers to change their abusive behavior patterns. Managers should be responsible for keeping and enhancing employees’ confidence as well as avoiding the negative emotions caused by leaders.
KeywordsAbusive leadership Self-efficacy Negative affectivity Helping behavior
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant <71472054>.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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