To read this content please select one of the options below:

Why am I still doing this job? The examination of family motivation on employees’ work behaviors under abusive supervision

Hussain Tariq (Department of Business Administration, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)
Donghong Ding (Department of Business Administration, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, China)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 5 March 2018

3143

Abstract

Purpose

Synthesizing theories of prosocial motivation and action identification, the purpose of this paper is to test several hypotheses associating abusive supervisory behavior with employees’ work behaviors via intervening variables, i.e., intrinsic motivation and family motivation.

Design/methodology/approach

The two-study examination of outcomes of abusive supervision stands in contrast to prior research, which has primarily focused on family motivation that influences supervisor-subordinate relationship. A lagged survey study at a Fortune 500 company and an experience sampling study at multi-organizations located in Anhui province of People’s Republic of China (PRC) support the moderated-mediation motivational model.

Findings

In the first study, designed as a lagged survey study, the authors found that abusive supervision is negatively associated with employees’ job performance and positively associated with employees’ turnover intentions. As anticipated, the results also found that family motivation moderates the direct relationship between abusive supervision and employees’ work behaviors. Furthermore, these results were then replicated and expanded in an experience sampling study. Consistent with the predictions, the authors found that intrinsic motivation acts as a mediator between abusive supervision and employees’ work behaviors and family motivation has the capacity to compensate for the absence of intrinsic motivation.

Research limitations/implications

Although the paper contributes to leadership and motivation literature, there are several noteworthy limitations to be discussed in the future. The subjective measurement, the validity of abusive supervision in the Chinese context and generalizing of the study in western countries are the key limitations of the study. Moreover, the authors measure abusive supervision only on high/low frequency based rather than high/low intensity. Hence, there is a possibility that intensity and frequency have dissimilar effects.

Originality/value

The study with meaningful implications on motivation and leadership research concludes that family as a powerful source of motivation encourages subordinates’ job performance and discourages employees’ turnover intentions at the workplace, even under abusive supervision.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Weng Qingxiong for many helpful comments on an earlier draft. Finally, the authors would like to acknowledge the support of Natural Science Foundation of China (Project No. 71373251; No. 71422014).

Citation

Tariq, H. and Ding, D. (2018), "Why am I still doing this job? The examination of family motivation on employees’ work behaviors under abusive supervision", Personnel Review, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 378-402. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-07-2016-0162

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles