Abusive supervision and citizenship behaviors: Exploring boundary conditions

Brian T. Gregory, Talai Osmonbekov, Sean T. Gregory, David D. Albritton, Jon C. Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: Previous research indicates that employees reciprocate for abusive supervision by withholding discretionary organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). The purpose of this paper is to investigate the boundary conditions of the negative relationship between abusive supervision and OCBs, by investigating time and money (dyadic duration and pay satisfaction) as potential moderating variables to the abusive supervision-OCBs relationship. Design/methodology/approach: A sample of 357 bank employees in Kazakhstan was used to test hypotheses. Findings: Results indicate that the negative relationship between abusive supervision and OCBs is more pronounced when employees have been supervised by a particular manager for a longer period of time, as well as when employees are less satisfied with their level of compensation. Research limitations/implications: Limitations include the use of cross-sectional data and the possibility of common method bias. Practical implications: Satisfaction with pay as a moderator may suggest additional costs associated with abusive supervision, as employees may demand higher salaries when working for abusive supervisors. Additionally, dyadic duration as a moderator may suggest that abusive supervisor behaviors over time lead individual employees to withhold more and more OCBs. Social implications: Organizational cultures can be adversely affected by reactions to abuse, and abusive supervision represents a growing social problem that may necessitate legislation to protect workers. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the literature by suggesting that employees appear more willing to withhold OCBs in longer-term dyadic relationships, and employees' positive satisfaction with pay appears to lessen the negative relationship between abusive supervision and OCBs. Additionally, this study explores abusive supervision using a non-western sample.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)628-644
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • Attitudes
  • Compensation
  • Employee exchanges
  • Employees behaviour
  • Kazakhstan
  • Leadership
  • Work psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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