Empirical work on the concept of abusive supervision typically employs measurements of subordinates' perceptions of abuse as the primary dependent variable.
This study began with a test of the notion that a significant proportion of subordinates' perceptions of abuse can be explained by individual differences in subordinates' attribution styles and their perceptions of the quality of their Leader–Member Exchange (LMX) relationships.
Results indicated that subordinates' hostile attribution styles were positively related to subordinates' perceptions of abuse and negatively related to subordinates' LMX perceptions. We also found evidence that the abusive supervision and LMX constructs are confounded. The results call into question the conceptual and empirical distinctions between the abusive supervision and LMX constructs and indicate that attribution style plays a significant role in these perceptions.
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