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Consumer Well-Being / Publication Abstract

Abusive supervision, distributive justice, and work-life balance: perspectives from salespeople and managers

Jul 3, 2015

Collin B. Gabler, Ronald Paul Hill

Consumer Well-Being


Perhaps in no other field is the employee–manager relationship as important as in sales. Given the performance-driven nature of the profession, firms seek managers who can optimize individual performance while providing a work environment that leads to satisfied employees. Using data collected from salespeople and sales managers, this study suggests that abusive supervision is one factor which negatively impacts both of these goals. Integrating justice theory within a sales management framework, we advance that abusive sales managers alter perceptions of workplace fairness. In turn, this perceived justice negatively impacts life satisfaction of not only salespeople experiencing the abuse but of managers administering it. Further, an unjust workplace established by an abusive manager can actually have detrimental effects on selling performance. Finally, we uncover normative and continuance commitment as factors that can suppress this negative relationship. If salespeople believe that job is a necessity or either party feels some sense of moral or ethical obligation to their firm, they are able to overlook the abuse, and possibly avoid the ‘double whammy' of negative outcomes associated with it.

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