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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00066

The Double-Edged Sword Effect of Abusive Supervision on Subordinates Innovative Behavior

 Jinqiang Zhu1* and Bainan Zhang2, 3
  • 1Minzu University of China, China
  • 2Renmin University of China, China
  • 3School of Labor and Human Resources, Renmin University of China, China

Existing studies on the relationship between abusive supervision and innovative behavior do not present a united picture. Drawing up the antecedent-benefit-cost framework and social cognitive theory, we tried to explain the contradictory relationships between them based on the mediating mechanism. Results showed that abusive supervision discouraged subordinates innovative behavior through reducing subordinates’ psychological safety but promoted subordinates’ innovative behavior through enhancing challenge-related stress. Our findings illustrated the complex mediating process of abusive supervision’s impact on innovative behavior, presenting a complementary explanation of the contradictory relationship between abusive supervision and innovative behavior. Also, we validated antecedent-benefit-cost framework and social cognitive theory, and shed light on two specific psychological cognitive mechanisms of social cognitive theory in the leadership field.

Keywords: Abusive supervision, psychological safety, Challenge-related stress, Innovative behavior, Structural equation model - SEM

Received: 16 Sep 2018; Accepted: 10 Jan 2019.

Edited by:

Darren C. Treadway, University at Buffalo, United States

Reviewed by:

Christian T. Stadtlander, Independent researcher, United States
Jordi Escartin, University of Barcelona, Spain  

Copyright: © 2019 Zhu and Zhang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jinqiang Zhu, Minzu University of China, Beijing, China,