Purpose: Drawing on the dual process model of ideology and prejudice, the purpose of this paper is to examine whether, how and when a supervisor's Machiavellianism leads to subordinates' perceptions of abusive supervision. In doing so, the authors also explore the mediating role of the supervisor's competitive world views and the moderating role of subordinates' performance on this relationship. Design/methodology/approach: The theoretical model was tested using three sources of data from supervisors, their subordinates and the organization. Hierarchical linear model analysis was run on supervisor and subordinate dyadic data for testing whether subordinates' performance moderated the mediated relationships or not. Findings: The results suggest that the supervisors' competitive worldviews explain the positive link between their Machiavellianism and subordinates' perceptions of abusive supervision. The results highlight that the mediation effect of supervisors' competitive worldviews on the link between their Machiavellianism and their subordinates' perceptions of abusive supervision is more pronounced when subordinates' performance is low than when it is high. Research limitations/implications: This research contributes to the authors’ knowledge of the link between supervisors' Machiavellianism and abusive supervision, and how the toxic influence of their Machiavellianism is mediated by supervisors' competitive worldviews. Originality/value: The study contributes to the literature on abusive supervision and personality by studying the role of personality as an antecedent of abusive supervision. Further, this study used subordinates' performance as a contextual variable for understanding abusive supervision.
- Abusive supervision
- Competitive worldviews
- Dark traits personality (DTP)
- Subordinate's performance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management