Sins of the parents: Self-control as a buffer between supervisors' previous experience of family undermining and subordinates' perceptions of abusive supervision

Christian Kiewitz, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Thomas J. Zagenczyk, Kristin D. Scott, Patrick Raymund James M. Garcia, Robert L. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Drawing upon social learning theory, the intergenerational transmission of violence hypothesis, and research on self-control, we develop a model of the relationships among previous experiences of family undermining, self-control, and abusive supervision. We tested the model with data obtained from supervisor-employee matched pairs in Study 1 and matched triads in Study 2. Results revealed that: 1) supervisors who experienced higher levels of family undermining (whether reported by the immediate supervisor or a sibling) during childhood are more likely to engage in abusive supervisory behaviors as adults; and 2) this relationship is moderated such that it is stronger for supervisors with low self-control. Overall, our results highlight the role of self-control in mitigating the impact of supervisors' previous experiences of family undermining on subordinate perceptions of abusive supervision, even after controlling for previously established antecedents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)869-882
Number of pages14
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume23
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

Keywords

  • Abusive supervision
  • Destructive leadership
  • Family undermining
  • Self-control
  • Workplace bullying

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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