Losing sleep: Examining the cascading effects of supervisors' experience of injustice on subordinates' psychological health

Alannah E. Rafferty, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Nerina L. Jimmieson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In this paper, we identify two types of injustice as antecedents of abusive supervision and ultimately of subordinate psychological distress and insomnia. We examine distributive justice (an individual's evaluation of their input to output ratio compared to relevant others) and interactional injustice (the quality of interpersonal treatment received when procedures are implemented). Using a sample of Filipinos in a variety of occupations, we identify two types of injustice experienced by supervisors as stressors that provoke them to display abusive supervision to their subordinates. We examine two consequences of abusive supervision - subordinate psychological distress and insomnia. In addition, we identify two moderators of these relationships, namely, supervisor distress and subordinate self-esteem. We collected survey data from multiple sources including subordinates, their supervisors, and their partners. Data were obtained from 175 matched supervisor-subordinate dyads over a 6-month period, with subordinates' partners providing ratings of insomnia. Results of structural equation modelling analyses provided support for an indirect effects model in which supervisors' experience of unfair treatment cascades down the organization, resulting in subordinate psychological distress and, ultimately in their insomnia. In addition, results partially supported the proposed moderated relationships in the cascading model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-55
Number of pages20
JournalWork and Stress
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

Keywords

  • Abusive supervision
  • Injustice
  • Insomnia
  • Psychological distress
  • Work-related stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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