The Relationships Between Attribution Styles, LMX, and Perceptions of Abusive Supervision

Academic Article


  • Prior abusive supervision research focuses on subordinates’ perceptions of abusive supervision. Recent research suggests that a variety of factors may be related to these perceptions, including subordinates’ self-esteem, personality traits, and negative affectivity, as well as supervisors’ perceptions of justice and breaches of psychological contracts. In this article, the authors propose and argue that a significant proportion of the variance in members’ perceptions of abuse by their leaders can be explained by the interactions of leaders’ and members’ attribution styles and that abuse perceptions may be considered to be a subset of subordinates’ perceptions of the quality of their leader–member exchange relationships. The authors also make the case that attribution styles affect the likelihood of abusive supervisory behavior as well as the perception of such behaviors.
  • Authors

  • Martinko, Mark J
  • Sikora, David
  • Harvey, Paul
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • November 2012
  • Keywords

  • abusive supervision
  • attribution styles
  • attributions
  • leader-member exchange
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Start Page

  • 397
  • End Page

  • 406
  • Volume

  • 19
  • Issue

  • 4