Extensive research has documented the harmful effects associated with working for a narcissistic supervisor. However, little effort has been made to investigate ways for victims to alleviate the burdens associated with exposure to such aversive persons. Building on the tenets of conservation of resources theory and the documented efficacy of functional assets to combat job-related stress, we hypothesized that subordinates’ resource management ability would buffer the detrimental impact of narcissistic supervisors on affective, cognitive, and behavioral work outcomes for subordinates. We found support for our hypotheses across three independent samples of US workers (N = 187; 199; 136). Specifically, higher levels of subordinate resource management ability attenuated the harmful effects of supervisor narcissism on employee-reported emotional exhaustion, job tension, depressed mood, task performance, and citizenship behavior. Conversely, these relationships further deteriorated for subordinates with lower levels of resource management ability. Overall, our research contributes to the literature that, although extensively documenting the harmful ramifications of narcissism in organizations, has neglected to investigate potentially mitigating factors.
- Conservation of resources
- Resource management