Can't stop eating my feelings: the maladaptive responses of abused employees toward abusive supervision

Hussain Tariq, Asfia Obaid, Muhammad Burhan, Muhammad Subhan, Sumbal Babar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Although organizational research on abusive supervision and its detrimental effects on individuals and organizations has become increasingly popular, little attention has been paid to the maladaptive responses of subordinates to abusive supervision. We build upon self-regulatory theory to investigate one common but overlooked maladaptive response of subordinates to abusive supervision: subordinate overeating behavior. We conducted a single-source, multi-wave daily diary study on 10 consecutive working days (N = 115 employees and 1150 daily surveys) to investigate the relationship between abusive supervision and overeating behavior via a subordinate's negative mood at the high versus low values of subordinate's recovery experiences. We, from the perspective of self-regulatory impairment, found that a subordinate's perceptions of abusive supervision instill a sense of negative mood, which in turn render a loss of control over his/her behavioral intentions toward overeating behavior. Moreover, the first-stage moderation results demonstrated that recovery experiences at the workplace mitigate the depleting effects of abusive supervision. Abused subordinates are less susceptible to the effects of abusive supervision on overeating behavior via their negative moods when there are greater recovery experiences at the workplace. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-521
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Issue number3
Early online date3 Oct 2022
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2023


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