Is Abusive Supervision Always “Toxic” to Work Engagement? – A Moderated Nonlinear Mediation Model


Abusive supervision
Work engagement
Proactive personality




Abusive supervision is often regarded as a “toxic” factor, which has a negative impact. However, latest research has shown that it has a positive side. Based on the regulatory focus and conservation of resources (COR) theory, this paper discusses the double-edged sword effect of abusive supervision on work engagement. The results of hierarchical regression and bootstrapping on 331 samples showed that there is an inverted U-shaped curve relationship between abusive supervision and work engagement, in which situational regulatory focus plays a differential mediating role between them; that is, abusive supervision through inverted U-shaped stimulation on promotion-focus and positive induction on prevention-focus affects work engagement; proactive personality moderates the inverted U-shaped effect of abusive supervision on work engagement, meanwhile it moderates the inverted U-shaped mediating role of promotion-focus and the linear mediating role of prevention-focus. This study provides a new reference for organization on how to control abusive management in practice.



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