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Getting even: A study of abusive supervision, workplace deviance and intention to quit in Indian entrepreneurial organizations

Sajeet Pradhan (Department of Organisational Behavior and Human Resource Management, International Management Institute New Delhi, New Delhi, India)
Lalatendu Kesari Jena (Xavier School of Human Resource Management, Bhubaneswar, India)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 2 October 2019

Issue publication date: 4 November 2019

341

Abstract

Purpose

Unlike most empirical investigations that have tested the relationship between abusive supervision and subordinate’s workplace deviance in a large and formal organizational setup, this study investigates the effect of abusive behavior of owner-manager of small entrepreneurial establishments on subordinate’s workplace deviance. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, it explores the moderating effect of intention to quit on the relationship between abusive supervision and organizational as well as interpersonal deviance; and second, it investigates whether the moderating effect between abusive supervision and intention to quit will be stronger for organizational deviance (supervisor directed) than for interpersonal deviance (others directed).

Design/methodology/approach

The participants of this study were 240 restaurant and hotel employees working in three small entrepreneurial organizations in the eastern state of India. The authors have collected data on the predictor and criterion variables at two time points with a separation of three to four weeks for reducing common method bias (Podsakoff et al., 2012). At Time 1, participants completed measures of the perception of their owner-manager’s abusiveness and their intention to quit. At Time 2, participants responded to organizational deviance and interpersonal deviance.

Findings

The findings of the study is in line with previous research studies (Tepper et al., 2007; Thau et al., 2009) that reported intention to quit will moderate the positive relationship between abusive supervision and organizational deviance and interpersonal deviance such that the relationship will be stronger when intention to quit is high rather than low. The finding of the study also corroborates the prediction that the interactive effect between abusive supervision and intention to quit will be stronger for organizational deviance (supervisor directed) than for interpersonal deviance (aimed at other members of the organization) when intention to quit is higher.

Originality/value

This study is among the very few empirical research studies that have investigated the effect of abusiveness of owner-manager on subordinate’s workplace deviance in small organizations. Another unique aspect of the study is that it is one of few to propose and test, how (whether organizational deviance or/and interpersonal deviance) and to what extent (more organizational or supervisor directed than interpersonal or others directed deviance) subordinates of abusive supervisor retaliate by engaging in workplace deviant behaviors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This paper forms part of a special section “Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship (CIE) in South Asia”.

Citation

Pradhan, S. and Jena, L.K. (2019), "Getting even: A study of abusive supervision, workplace deviance and intention to quit in Indian entrepreneurial organizations", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 332-347. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAJBS-06-2018-0072

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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