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When the boss is blue: Examining the effects of supervisors’ negative emotions on subordinates’ work engagement and family undermining

Chan, Xi Wen

Description

The role of emotions remains a critical gap in the work–family literature as existing studies have typically focused on the intrapersonal consequences (e.g., distress and strain) in reaction to work–family conflict. Building on this gap, the current research investigated the interpersonal effects of supervisor negative emotions on subordinate work and family outcomes. Drawing on emotions as social information theory, role theory, and the human agentic...[Show more]

dc.contributor.authorChan, Xi Wen
dc.date.accessioned2018-10-05T04:21:22Z
dc.date.available2018-10-05T04:21:22Z
dc.identifier.otherb58077765
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1885/148121
dc.description.abstractThe role of emotions remains a critical gap in the work–family literature as existing studies have typically focused on the intrapersonal consequences (e.g., distress and strain) in reaction to work–family conflict. Building on this gap, the current research investigated the interpersonal effects of supervisor negative emotions on subordinate work and family outcomes. Drawing on emotions as social information theory, role theory, and the human agentic approach, the current research sought to unpack the social cognitive mechanisms linking supervisor negative emotions to subordinate work engagement and family undermining. Data for both studies in this research was collected from a Singaporean government agency. Study 1 proposed that: (1) when supervisors express negative emotions, their behaviours violate their subordinates’ expectations of them, leading subordinates to perceive them as being less effective; (2) subordinates’ self-beliefs in managing their work and non-work responsibilities are subsequently diminished, leading to decreased self-efficacy to regulate work and life; (3) consequently, subordinates become less engaged in their work and direct their negative emotional and cognitive states towards their family members. The time-lagged study consisted of 372 supervisor–subordinate dyads, and the hypothesised chain mediation model was examined using structural equation modelling. Contrary to expectations, subordinate perceived leadership effectiveness only partially mediated the relationship between supervisor negative emotions and subordinate self-efficacy to regulate work and life, and subordinate self-efficacy to regulate work and life was negatively associated with subordinate work engagement. The first finding prompted Study 2, which examined supervisor gender in relation to supervisor negative emotions, and subordinate perceived leadership effectiveness and self-efficacy to regulate work and life. Due to entrenched beliefs in the gendered division of labour in Singapore, Study 2 examined supervisor gender as a moderator of the relationship between supervisor negative emotions and subordinate perceived leadership effectiveness. It hypothesised that female supervisors’ negative emotions would have a stronger negative impact on their subordinates’ perceived leadership effectiveness and self-efficacy to regulate work and life than male supervisors’ negative emotions. The time-lagged study consisted of 137 supervisor–subordinate dyads, and the hypothesised moderated mediation model was tested using PROCESS. Results mostly conformed to the hypothesis in that female supervisors’ negative emotions had a significant negative impact on their subordinates’ perceived leadership effectiveness and self-efficacy to regulate work and life. Interestingly, male supervisors’ negative emotions did not affect their subordinates. Also, subordinate perceived leadership effectiveness was shown to fully mediate the relationship between supervisor negative emotions and subordinate self-efficacy to regulate work and life, only when the supervisor was a female. This finding suggests that gender role stereotypes remain rife in Singapore. Taken together, the current research sheds light on how subordinates: (1) perceive and process information gleaned from their supervisors’ negative emotions; and (2) subsequently apply the information to their work and family domains. It also contributes to the growing pool of studies on emotions in the work–family interface, embedded in non-Western settings. Lastly, it highlights the dichotomous effects of supervisor negative emotions in enhancing subordinate work outcomes but diminishing subordinate family outcomes. Implications for practice are also discussed.
dc.format.extent1 vol.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen_AU
dc.publisherCanberra, ACT : The Australian National University
dc.rightsAuthor retains copyright
dc.subjectnegative emotions
dc.subjectfamily undermining
dc.subjectwork engagement
dc.subjectperceived leadership effectiveness
dc.subjectself-efficacy to regulate work and life
dc.subjectsupervisor–subordinate dyads
dc.titleWhen the boss is blue: Examining the effects of supervisors’ negative emotions on subordinates’ work engagement and family undermining
dc.typeThesis (PhD)
local.contributor.institutionThe Australian National University
local.contributor.supervisorKalliath, Thomas
local.contributor.supervisorcontactthomas.kalliath@anu.edu.au
dcterms.valid2018
local.description.notesthe author deposited 5/10/2018
local.description.refereedYes
local.type.degreeDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
dc.date.issued2018
local.type.statusAccepted Version
local.contributor.affiliationResearch School of Management, College of Business and Economics, The Australian National University
local.description.embargo2021-10-05
local.request.emailrepository.admin@anu.edu.au
local.request.nameDigital Theses
local.identifier.doi10.25911/5d5142c8f1437
dcterms.accessRightsRestricted access
local.mintdoimint
CollectionsRestricted Theses

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