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Standing by Your Organization: The Impact of Organizational Identification and Abusive Supervision on Followers’ Perceived Cohesion and Tendency to Gossip


  • Stijn Decoster


  • Jeroen Camps
  • Jeroen Stouten
  • Lore Vandevyvere
  • Thomas Tripp


Abusive supervision has been shown to have significant negative consequences for employees’ well-being, attitudes, and behavior. However, despite the devastating impact, it might well be that employees do not always react negatively toward a leader’s abusive behavior. In the present study, we show that employees’ organizational identification and abusive supervision interact for employees’ perceived cohesion with their work group and their tendency to gossip about their leader. Employees confronted with a highly abusive supervisor had a stronger perceived cohesion and engaged in less gossiping behavior when they identified more strongly with their organization. Our findings illustrate that organizational identification functions as a buffer for those confronted with an abusive supervisor. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Stijn Decoster & Jeroen Camps & Jeroen Stouten & Lore Vandevyvere & Thomas Tripp, 2013. "Standing by Your Organization: The Impact of Organizational Identification and Abusive Supervision on Followers’ Perceived Cohesion and Tendency to Gossip," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 118(3), pages 623-634, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:118:y:2013:i:3:p:623-634
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-012-1612-z

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. van Knippenberg, D.L. & van Dick, R. & Tavares, S., 2005. "Social Identity and Social Exchange: Identification, Support, and Withdrawal from the Job," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2005-093-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
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    Cited by:

    1. Xiangfan Wu & Ho Kwong Kwan & Long-Zeng Wu & Jie Ma, 2018. "The Effect of Workplace Negative Gossip on Employee Proactive Behavior in China: The Moderating Role of Traditionality," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 148(4), pages 801-815, April.
    2. Xiao-Yu Liu & Ho Kwong Kwan & Xiaomeng Zhang, 2020. "Introverts maintain creativity: A resource depletion model of negative workplace gossip," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 37(1), pages 325-344, March.
    3. Sang Hun Sung & Jee Young Seong & Yong Geun Kim, 2020. "Seeking Sustainable Development in Teams: Towards Improving Team Commitment through Person-Group Fit," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(15), pages 1-15, July.
    4. Budhi Haryanto & Edi Cahyono, 2019. "Relationship Between Abusive Supervision and Performance: The Role of Gender," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 305-311.
    5. K. Michele Kacmar & Reginald Tucker, 2016. "The Moderating Effect of Supervisor’s Behavioral Integrity on the Relationship between Regulatory Focus and Impression Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 87-98, April.
    6. Yucheng Zhang & Zhenyu Liao, 2015. "Consequences of abusive supervision: A meta-analytic review," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 32(4), pages 959-987, December.
    7. Kim, Andrea & Moon, Jinhee & Shin, Jiseon, 2019. "Justice perceptions, perceived insider status, and gossip at work: A social exchange perspective," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 30-42.
    8. Yucheng Zhang & Timothy C. Bednall, 2016. "Antecedents of Abusive Supervision: a Meta-analytic Review," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 139(3), pages 455-471, December.
    9. Vincent Rousseau & Caroline Aubé, 2018. "When Leaders Stifle Innovation in Work Teams: The Role of Abusive Supervision," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 151(3), pages 651-664, September.
    10. Qin Xu & Guangxi Zhang & Andrew Chan, 2019. "Abusive Supervision and Subordinate Proactive Behavior: Joint Moderating Roles of Organizational Identification and Positive Affectivity," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 829-843, July.
    11. Jeremy D. Mackey & Lei Huang & Wei He, 2020. "You Abuse and I Criticize: An Ego Depletion and Leader–Member Exchange Examination of Abusive Supervision and Destructive Voice," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 164(3), pages 579-591, July.


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