Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the restrictive effect of abusive supervision on employees’ feedback-seeking behavior (FSB) through organizational-based self-esteem (OBSE) and the moderation of this mediation by leader-member exchange (LMX). Design/methodology/approach: This study conducted hierarchical regression and path analysis to analyze the 312 manager–employee dyads data gathered from five companies in China. Findings: The authors found that abusive supervision had a detrimental effect on employee FSB, partially through OBSE, and that both the direct and indirect effects were moderated by LMX. Practical implications: Organizations should seek to inhibit supervisors’ abusive behavior in the workplace. Supervisors should not occasionally mistreat subordinates with whom they have a good relationship. Originality/value: This study reveals the underlying influence mechanism of abusive supervision on employee FSB using the self-concept theory and suggests that OBSE is critical in determining how abusive supervision influences employee FSB. Furthermore, LMX quality (especially high LMX) moderates the above mediation.
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