Title

Victim and Culprit? The Effects of Entitlement and Felt Accountability on Perceptions of Abusive Supervision and Perpetration of Workplace Bullying

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-1-2018

Subject Area

ARRAY(0x55f3e7df2bf8)

Abstract

Although workplace bullying is common and has universally harmful effects on employees’ outcomes, little is known about workplace bullies. To address this gap in knowledge, we draw from the tenets of social exchange and displaced aggression theories in order to develop and test a model of workplace bullying that incorporates the effects of employees’ individual differences (i.e., entitlement), perceptions of their work environments (i.e., felt accountability), and perceptions of supervisory treatment (i.e., perceptions of abusive supervision) on their tendencies to bully coworkers. The results of mediated moderation analyses that examine responses from two samples of working adults (nSample 1 = 396; nSample 2 = 123) support our hypotheses. Specifically, we find evidence of an indirect relationship between entitlement and coworker bullying through perceptions of abusive supervision that is stronger for employees who report lower levels of felt accountability than employees who report higher levels of felt accountability. This study makes important theoretical and practical contributions to abusive supervision research, bullying research, and organizational efforts to promote ethical work environments devoid of interpersonal mistreatment by providing novel insight into how employees’ entitlement and felt accountability combine to influence their tendencies to perceive themselves as victims of abusive supervision and culprits of coworker bullying.

Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Volume

153

Issue

3

First Page

659

Last Page

673

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1007/s10551-016-3348-7

ISSN

01674544

E-ISSN

15730697

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