Skip to main content
More about CLF

1 December 2023 - 1 December 2023

1:30PM - 3:30PM

Online and In-Person, Durham University Business School

  • Free

Share page:

Join us for a seminar hosted by the Centre for Leadership and Followership with Prof Wing Lam (Alliance Manchester Business School)

This is the image alt text

Durham University Business School

Am I Enabling My Abusive Supervisor?


We examine how employee forgiveness, a coping strategy for abusive supervision, affects supervisors’ daily abusive behaviors. We propose that employee forgiveness tends to enable abusive supervisors, so that when abused employees forgive their supervisors on a specific workday, supervisors are likely to increase their abusive behaviors on the next workday. We further examine employees’ daily emotional exhaustion as one underlying mechanism to explain this enabling effect of forgiveness. We tested this mediated moderation model using data collected daily from 100 employees in China across 10 consecutive workdays. Hierarchical linear modeling supported our predictions of the enabling effect of employee forgiveness and the mediating role of employee emotional exhaustion. Our findings enrich the understanding of forgiveness in coping with abusive supervision and highlight that forgiveness could enable abusive supervisors and engender a spiral of abuse.

About the Speaker

Wing Lam is a Professor of Organisational Psychology at the University of Manchester. Prior to joining the School, she worked at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Her research focuses on employee proactivity, the dark side of leadership, and team dynamics. She is currently the Associate Editor for Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology (ABS 4*) and was the Associate Editor for the Journal of Business Research (ABS 3*) from 2016 to 2023. Her research has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, Leadership Quarterly, and others. She has been invited as a visiting scholar and for speaking engagements in the UK, Netherlands, Norway, USA, Australia, Japan, Singapore, Kazakhstan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macau. Additionally, she is active in applying her academic knowledge in practical settings, having delivered training sessions in companies across various industries such as hospitality, logistics, medical, retail, IT, real estate, and catering, as well as in government departments.