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Abusive Supervision  

Ann Peng, Rebecca Mitchell, and John M. Schaubroeck

In recent years scholars of abusive supervision have expanded the scope of outcomes examined and have advanced new psychological and social processes to account for these and other outcomes. Besides the commonly used relational theories such as justice theory and social exchange theory, recent studies have more frequently drawn from theories about emotion to describe how abusive supervision influences the behavior, attitudes, and well-being of both the victims and the perpetrators. In addition, an increasing number of studies have examined the antecedents of abusive supervision. The studied antecedents include personality, behavioral, and situational characteristics of the supervisors and/or the subordinates. Studies have reported how characteristics of the supervisor and that of the focal victim interact to determining abuse frequency. Formerly postulated outcomes of abusive supervision (e.g., subordinate performance) have also been identified as antecedents of abusive supervision. This points to a need to model dynamic and mutually reciprocal processes between leader abusive behavior and follower responses with longitudinal data. Moreover, extending prior research that has exclusively focused on the victim’s perspective, scholars have started to take the supervisor’s perspective and the lens of third-parties, such as victims’ coworkers, to understand the broad impact of abusive supervision. Finally, a small number of studies have started to model abusive supervision as a multilevel phenomenon. These studies have examined a group aggregated measure of abusive supervision, examining its influence as an antecedent of individual level outcomes and as a moderator of relationships between individuals’ experiences of abusive supervision and personal outcomes. More research could be devoted to establishing the causal effects of abusive supervision and to developing organizational interventions to reduce abusive supervision.


Group Decision-Making  

R. Scott Tindale and Jeremy R. Winget

Group decisions are ubiquitous in everyday life. Even when decisions are made individually, decision-makers often receive advice or suggestions from others. Thus, decisions are often social in nature and involve multiple group members. The literature on group decision-making is conceptualized as falling along two dimensions: how much interaction or information exchange is allowed among the group members, and how the final decision is made. On one end, group decisions can be made simply by aggregating member preferences or judgments without any interaction among members, with members having no control or say in the final judgment. One the other end, groups’ decisions can involve extensive member interaction and information exchanges, and the final decision is reached by group consensus. In between these two endpoints, various other strategies are also possible, including prediction markets, Delphi groups, and judge–advisor systems. Research has shown that each dimension has different implications for decision quality and process depending on the decision task and context. Research exploring these two dimension has also helped to illuminate those aspects of group decision-making that can lead to better-quality decisions.


Positive Leadership in Organizations  

Lucas Monzani and Rolf Van Dick

Positive leadership is a major domain of positive organizational scholarship. The adjective “positive” applies to any leader behavioral pattern (style) that creates the conditions by which organizational members can self-actualize, grow, and flourish at work. Some examples of style are authentic, transformational, servant, ethical, leader–member exchange, identity leadership, and the leader character model. Despite the myriad constructive outcomes that relate to said positive leadership styles, positive leadership it is not without its critics. The three main criticisms are that (a) the field is fragmented and might suffer from conceptual redundancy, (b) extant research focuses on the individual level of analysis and neglects reciprocal and cross-level effects, and (c) positive leadership is naïve and not useful for managing organizations. Our multilevel model of positive leadership in organizations proposes that leaders rely on internalization and integration to incorporate meaningful life experiences and functional social norms into their core self. Further, through self-awareness and introspection, leaders discover and exercise their latent character strengths. In turn, positive leaders influence followers through exemplary role modeling and in turn followers validate leaders by adopting their attributes and self-determined behaviors. At the team level of analysis, positive team leaders elevate workgroups into teams by four mechanisms that shape a shared “sense of we,” and workgroup members legitimize positive leaders by granting them a leader role identity and assuming follower role identities. Finally, at the organizational level, organizational leaders can shape a virtuous culture by anchoring it on universal virtues and through corporate social responsibility actions improve their context. Alternatively, organizations can shape a virtuous culture through organizational learning.


Dunham, Arthur  

Jean K. Quam

Arthur Dunham (1893–1980) was a pacifist, writer, and social work educator. He wrote extensively about community development and social welfare administration. His writing contributed to the evolution of community organization as a social work method.


Radical Perspectives on Climate Change: From Critical Theory to Eco-Marxism and Beyond  

Alf Hornborg

Since the late 1980s, a number of radical theorists have increasingly addressed the relation between capitalism and environmental degradation, including climate change. Many environmentalists and ecosocialists have criticized classical Marxist theory for celebrating the intensification of technological productivity and ignoring environmental issues. Responding to such charges, some “ecological Marxists” have intended to show that the theoretical framework conceived by Marx and Engels is attuned to ecological concerns. In reviewing their classical texts, however, they have inadvertently exposed fundamental obstacles to articulating a consistent materialist account of political economy. A central obstacle is the incompatibility of a materialist theory of value with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the Entropy Law. Whether focusing on inputs of labor power or energy, such a theory of value contradicts the entropic or dissipative character of any production process. Whereas so-called Western Marxism has refrained from considering biophysical nature, eco-Marxists such as Paul Burkett and John Bellamy Foster have attempted to reconcile Marxian value theory and thermodynamics. However, as the increase of economic exchange-value through production correlates positively with entropy, the Marxist labor theory of value is as unable as mainstream economics to align itself with the laws of thermodynamics. The interaction of cultural valuation and biophysical processes illustrates why social and natural aspects of economic processes must be analytically distinguished. “Social” aspects are those which are contingent on and generated by symbolic communication. The process of global warming, largely driven by the entropic emissions of fossil-fueled technology, has both natural and social aspects. Climate change has become an increasingly prominent concern in eco-Marxist literature. Its origins have been traced by Andreas Malm to the turn to fossil energy in early industrial Britain. To indicate how global warming is connected to the incentives of industrial capitalists, he coined the concept of the Capitalocene for our current era. The concept has also been used by Jason W. Moore, who emphasizes the ecological dimension of the capitalist world-system. While Moore’s global perspective is important, his adoption of a posthumanist approach has led him to unconditionally abandon all nature/society distinctions, which has met critique from Foster, Malm, and other eco-Marxists. A radically materialist understanding of global warming since the Industrial Revolution would recognize the accumulation of fossil-fueled technology in wealthier parts of the world-system as resulting from ecologically unequal exchange. Such asymmetric resource transfers, orchestrated but also obscured by market prices, simultaneously aggravate global inequalities and greenhouse gas emissions contributing to climate change. A transdisciplinary analysis of the climate crisis would focus on how incentives prompted by the artifact of all-purpose money generate a global social metabolism conducive to rising emissions and the uneven accumulation of technological infrastructure.