Thriving at work but insomniac at home: Understanding the relationship between supervisor bottom-line mentality and employee functioning

Mayowa T. Babalola, Shuang Ren, Chidiebere Ogbonnaya, Katrin Riisla, Gbemisola T. Soetan, Kubilay Gok

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Bottom-line mentality (BLM) describes a one-dimensional frame of mind revolving around bottom-line pursuits, which pervades most organizations today. But how does working with high BLM supervisors affect employees’ functioning both at work and at home? Guided by this question, we draw on social information processing theory and insights from the person–environment fit literature for a nuanced understanding of the effects of supervisor BLM. Using data from two field studies conducted in China (340 employees) and the United States (174 employees), we find that supervisor BLM increases employee perceptions of a competitive climate that ultimately increases employee thriving at work and insomnia outside work. We further find that employee trait competitiveness moderated the indirect relationship (via perceived competitive climate) between supervisor BLM and thriving at work but not for insomnia; employees high (versus low) in trait competitiveness were found to thrive at work under the competitive climate stimulated by high BLM supervisors. Taken together, our findings highlight the need for organizational leaders to be cautious of being too narrowly focused on bottom-line outcomes and aware of the wider implications of BLM on different domains of their employees’ lives.

Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Relations
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • insomnia
  • perceived competitive climate
  • supervisor bottom-line mentality
  • thriving at work
  • trait competitiveness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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