Organization Management Journal


Identifying the consequences of interpersonal mistreatment on the targets' organizational attitudes and well-being is key to promoting a healthy organizational culture. Across two experiments, we explored the impact of an instigator’s hierarchical position and demographic characteristic on the targets’ organizational attitudes and situational well-being. In the first experiment, respondents were presented with a vignette describing an interpersonal mistreatment scenario in which an instigator’s hierarchical position and gender had been manipulated. As hypothesized, interpersonal mistreatment conducted by a supervisor significantly decreased the targets’ organizational commitment and increased turnover intentions. Also, higher turnover intentions and more positive emotions were experienced by those mistreated by a male instigator. In the second experiment, we aimed to replicate these findings, adding an age condition. Consistent with the first experiment, the instigator’s hierarchical position shaped the respondents’ organizational attitudes. Interaction effects revealed that interpersonal mistreatment by an older male instigator decreased the targets’ positive emotions significantly.