Examining the dark side of leadership: The role of gender on the perception of abusive supervision

Thesis Type: Postgraduate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Faculty of Economic and Administrative Sciences, Department of Business Administration, Turkey

Approval Date: 2018




This thesis intends to investigate the roles of supervisor gender, subordinate gender and perceivers’ sexist attitudes within the context of perception of abusive supervision on a Turkish sample. Defined as a form of dark leadership through which supervisors engage in hostile behaviors, excluding any physical harassment, towards their subordinates at the workplace, abusive supervision is relatively a new phenomenon that is rather unexplored in the leadership literature. Even though negative consequences of abusive supervision have been investigated, the antecedents that lead to the abusive supervision are still in need of further research. Moreover, perceptions of abusive supervision have not yet been explored with reference to the differential gender stereotypes. Therefore, this thesis examines the roles of supervisor gender, subordinate gender and gender similarity in supervisor-subordinate dyad on subordinate’s perception of abusive supervision. The moderating effects of the sexist attitudes of the perceivers (hostile sexism and benevolent sexism) on the relationship between the supervisor behavior and the perception of abusive supervision are also investigated. In order to observe the relationships and test the hypotheses, data was collected from 260 graduate and undergraduate students from various universities located in Ankara, Turkey and analyzed by using quantitative methods. This study contributes to the leadership literature by examining the roles of gender and sexist attitudes on the perception of abusive supervision through vignettes, which are used for the first time on a Turkish sample.