Although the negative effects of abusive supervision are well documented, less is known about the individual differences that drive supervisors to be abusive. We use a self-control perspective to understand the unique roles of both psychological and neurological characteristics of supervisors in the prediction of abusive behavior. Specifically, we find a positive relationship between narcissism and abusive supervision, whereas political skill and intrinsic neurological connectivity in executive control regions of the brain negatively relate to abusive supervision. Our results further show that the relationship between narcissism and abusive supervision diminishes for those who are strong in terms of political skill. In addition, neurological executive control moderates the relationship between political skill and abusive behavior. When connectivity in executive control regions of the brain is lower, political skill becomes a more important factor in reducing the display of abusive behavior. Overall, we demonstrate how combinations of characteristics (both psychological and neurological) can provide a more in-depth understanding of the emergence of abusive supervision.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management