family-supportive supervision, workplace ostracism, subjective well-being, abusive supervision


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Family-supportive supervision benefits employees in many ways. But what are the implications for the supervisors themselves, particularly when this support is not extended? Drawing on social exchange theory, we frame family-supportive supervision as a desirable resource that when withheld may trigger negative social responses from employees. We hypothesize that workplace ostracism is a mechanism through which employees sanction supervisors who fail to be family-supportive, thereby harming supervisor well-being. Study 1 captured the employee perspective and utilized an experimental design to understand whether employees engage in ostracism in response to a lack of family-supportive supervision. In Study 2, we captured the supervisor perspective with multisource data to examine whether supervisors report ostracism and in turn lower subjective well-being when employees report a lack of family-supportive supervision. Consistent findings were observed across studies, suggesting negative outcomes for supervisors who fail to be family-supportive. In Study 2, we also examined moderators of the relationship between failing to be family-supportive and workplace ostracism and potential conditional indirect effects. However, we did not find evidence of such effects. Theoretical implications for the study of familysupportive supervision and workplace ostracism are discussed

Original Citation

Walsh, B. M., Matthews, R. A., Toumbeva, T. H., Kabat-Farr, D., Philbrick, J., & Pavisic, I.* (2019). Failing to be family-supportive: Implications for supervisors. Journal of Management, 45, 2952-2977.