To act out, to withdraw, or to constructively resist? Employee reactions to supervisor abuse of customers and the moderating role of employee moral identity

Rebecca L. Greenbaum, Mary Bardes Mawritz, David M. Mayer, Manuela Priesemuth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations

Abstract

We extend the deontic model of justice (Folger, 1998, 2001) by arguing that not all employees respond to third-party injustices by experiencing an eye-for-an-eye retributive response; rather, some employees respond in ways that are higher in moral acceptance (e.g. increasing turnover intentions, engaging in constructive resistance). We predict that the positive relationship between supervisor abuse of customers and organizational deviance is weaker when employees are high in moral identity. In contrast, we hypothesize that the relationships between supervisor abuse of customers and turnover intentions and constructive resistance are more strongly positive when employees are high in moral identity. Regression results from two field studies (N = 222 and N = 199, respectively) provide general support for our theoretical model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)925-950
Number of pages26
JournalHuman Relations
Volume66
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Keywords

  • abusive supervision
  • customers
  • deontic model of justice
  • deviance
  • moral identity

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