Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Workplace Woe: Are Abusive Bosses Or Inferior Employees To Blame?

Date:
October 26, 2007
Source:
Florida State University
Summary:
Considerable attention, both in blogs and in popular media, has been given to abusive bosses over the past few years. Less discussed are employees' responses to such behavior. How do employees react to abusive supervisors? Do they simply take what is dished out, or do they actively seek to change the situation?

Considerable attention, both in blogs and in popular media, has been given to abusive bosses over the past few years. Less discussed are employees' responses to such behavior. How do employees react to abusive supervisors? Do they simply take what is dished out, or do they actively seek to change the situation?

Related Articles


Research recently conducted by Wayne Hochwarter, a professor of management at Florida State University, and research associate Samantha Engelhardt sought to answer those questions by examining the responses of more than 180 employees from a wide variety of professions who reported supervisor abuse.

"Our goal was to isolate those who reported daily abuse from those who did not," Hochwarter said.

Their research shows that the differences between the two groups are staggering:

  • Thirty percent of those who reported abuse slowed down or purposely made errors, compared with 6 percent of those not reporting abuse.
  • Twenty-seven percent of those who reported abuse purposely hid from the boss, compared with 4 percent of those not reporting abuse.
  • Thirty-three percent of those who reported abuse confessed to not putting in maximum effort, compared with 9 percent of those not reporting abuse.
  • Twenty-nine percent of those who reported abuse took sick time off even when not ill, compared with 4 percent of those not reporting abuse.
  • Twenty-five percent of those who reported abuse took more or longer breaks, compared with 7 percent of those not reporting abuse.

Hochwarter and Engelhardt also found that those not reporting abuse were three times more likely to proactively fix problems, including perceived abuse, than those who reported mistreatment.

"The data do not allow us to definitively state if abuse leads to these reactions, or if managers are just responding to their subordinates' less-than-stellar behavior," Hochwarter said. "However, it is clear that employee-employer relations are at one of the lowest points in history."

Hochwarter suggested that basic civility, including a commitment to active communication, may cure many workplace problems.

"Without communication, there can be no trust," he said. "And without trust, you're going to have your share of employee-manager struggles."

Hochwarter and Engelhardt's research, which is being prepared for publication, follows a 2006 study conducted by Hochwarter and two FSU doctoral students that still is generating national media coverage nearly a year later. In that study, the researchers examined the problem of abusive bosses and documented their effects on employee health and job performance.

"Employees stuck in an abusive relationship experienced more exhaustion, job tension, nervousness, depressed mood and mistrust," Hochwarter said of the 2006 research. "They also were less likely to take on additional tasks, such as working longer or on weekends, and were generally less satisfied with their job. Also, employees were more likely to leave if involved in an abusive relationship than if dissatisfied with pay."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Florida State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Florida State University. "Workplace Woe: Are Abusive Bosses Or Inferior Employees To Blame?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005092718.htm>.
Florida State University. (2007, October 26). Workplace Woe: Are Abusive Bosses Or Inferior Employees To Blame?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005092718.htm
Florida State University. "Workplace Woe: Are Abusive Bosses Or Inferior Employees To Blame?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071005092718.htm (accessed December 17, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Your Airplane Seat Choice Says a Lot About You

Buzz60 (Dec. 11, 2014) Are you an aisle or window seat person? Expedia and top psychologists say that choice says a lot about your personality. Sean Dowling (Seandowlingtv) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins