Chinese Employees’ Psychological Responses to Abusive Supervisors The Roles of Gender and Self-Esteem

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Psychological Reports

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Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, the relations between abusive supervision and emotional exhaustion and intent to leave were examined, as well as the gender differences in these relations. Moreover, the moderating effect of self-esteem was tested in an integrated model stipulating that the gender-moderating effect was mediated by the abusive supervision × self-esteem interaction. Data were collected from 264 employees (111 men; M age = 32.0 years; M tenure = 9.2 years). Results of regression analyses indicated that abusive supervision was positively correlated to emotional exhaustion and intent to leave. Women reported higher emotional exhaustion and intent to leave than men. The relations of interest were stronger among employees with higher self-esteem (emotional exhaustion: β = 0.44; intent to leave: β = 0.53). The interaction of abusive supervision × self-esteem mediated the gender-moderating effect. Women's stronger responses to abusive supervision may be related to their higher self-esteem, possibly because of the importance of employment to Chinese women.



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