Supervisor's HEXACO personality traits and subordinate perceptions of abusive supervision

Kimberley Breevaart, Reinout E. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Abusive supervision is detrimental to both subordinates and organizations. Knowledge about individual differences in personality related to abusive supervision may improve personnel selection and potentially reduce the harmful effects of this type of leadership. Using the HEXACO personality framework, we hypothesized that subordinates perceive leaders high on Agreeableness and Honesty-Humility as less abusive. In a sample of 107 unique supervisor-subordinate dyads that filled out the online questionnaire, we found that both Agreeableness and Honesty-Humility were negatively related to subordinate perceptions of abusive supervision. Our findings contribute to our understanding of the origins of abusive supervision and hopefully stimulate future research on supervisor personality and abusive supervision.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-700
JournalLeadership quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Abusive supervision
  • Big five personality traits
  • Leadership


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