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The impact of abusive supervision on employees’ feedback avoidance and subsequent help-seeking behaviour: A moderated mediation model

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 September 2018

Ghulam Ali Arain*
School of Business, American University of Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates
Sehrish Bukhari
Department of Business Administration, Sukkur Institute of Business Administration, Sukkur, Pakistan
Abdul Karim Khan
College of Business and Economics, United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Imran Hameed
Department of Business Administration, Lahore School of Economics, Lahore, Pakistan
* Corresponding author. Email:


Based on the conservation of resource theory, this study investigated a moderated mediation model in which perceived co-worker support moderated the mediation of supervisory feedback avoidance between abusive supervision and help-seeking behaviour. Data from matching dyads of 220 house officers and 86 postgraduate medical staff were collected from several hospitals in Pakistan. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analyses supported the hypothesized model that abusive supervision first positively led to supervisory feedback avoidance, which in turn positively led to help-seeking from co-workers. Moreover, the mediating effect of supervisory feedback avoidance was stronger at the high value of co-worker support than that at the low value of co-worker support. This study contributes to the recently emerged notion in abusive supervision research that supervisees’ perception of abusive supervision may not always lead to abundantly reported negative work behaviours; instead, it may also lead to positive work behaviours, such as help-seeking behaviour that is highly beneficial for both supervisees and the organization.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2018

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