Supervisor Undermining, Social Isolation and Subordinates’ Problematic Drinking: The Role of Depression and Perceived Drinking Norms

Ronit Montal-Rosenberg*, Peter A. Bamberger, Inbal Nahum-Shani, Mo Wang, Mary Larimer, Samuel B. Bacharach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Findings regarding the mechanism underlying the impact of supervisor incivility on subordinate alcohol misuse remain equivocal. Specifically, some studies indicate that stress mediates the impact of supervisor incivility on subordinate alcohol misuse, while others, find no evidence for such an effect, suggesting the need to investigate other mechanisms. Extending Conservation of Resource (COR) theory and employing a longitudinal study design, this study examines two alternative mechanisms grounded on social isolation. The first suggests drinking as a resource-mobilizing response, with social isolation eliciting the perception of more permissive injunctive drinking norms, thus facilitating problematic drinking. The second suggests problematic drinking as a mode of coping with a negative emotional state elicited by social isolation, namely depression. Findings indicate that supervisor undermining’s association with subsequent subordinate problematic drinking is serially mediated by social isolation and depression, with no support found for the first mechanism. Implications for research, practice and policy are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-60
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Drug Issues
Volume53
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Funding

FundersFunder number
Henry Crown Institute for Business Research
Smithers Institute for Alcohol-Related Workplace Studies
National Institutes of Health
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and AlcoholismNIH/5R01AA022113
Cornell University
Tel Aviv University

    Keywords

    • alcohol misuse
    • depression
    • social isolation
    • supervisor incivility

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