International journal of


EISSN: 2313-3724, Print ISSN:2313-626X

Frequency: 12

line decor
line decor

 Volume 6, Issue 8 (August 2019), Pages: 90-99


 Review Paper

 Title: Abuse, emotions, and workload in the distribution business: Implications for employees’ engagement

 Author(s): Umair Ahmed 1, *, Nadeem Khalid 2, Dewan Md Zahurul Islam 3, Zahida Abro 4


 1Business Administration Department, Arab Open University, A’ali, Bahrain
 2Executive Education Center, KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
 3Bang College of Business, KIMEP University, Almaty, Kazakhstan
 4Management Science Department, SZABIST, Larkana Sindh, Pakistan

  Full Text - PDF          XML

 * Corresponding Author. 

  Corresponding author's ORCID profile:

 Digital Object Identifier:


Distribution networks and services are one of the major business drivers in any economy. The present study attempted to examine what is the impact of some of the deleterious work prospects on employees working in the distribution businesses on their psychological work wellbeing. Therein, the study examined the role and impact on work stressors including abusive supervision, emotional demands and workload on employees work engagement. Five major distribution companies were sampled in the present study to examine these relationships on the staff level employees. Structural equation modelling using PLS 2.0 M3 resulted in significant negative impact of abusive supervision on employees’ work engagement. Accordingly, emotional demands also posed a significant negative impact on employees’ psychological resources thus decreasing their work engagement. In parallel, workload also reported a significant negative impact in a similar fashion. The study has forwarded noteworthy implications based on findings for the distribution businesses in particular and service based occupations in general. The study also sheds light on limitation and scope for future studies. 

 © 2019 The Authors. Published by IASE.

 This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

 Keywords: Work stress, Distribution business, Abusive supervision, Emotional demands, Workload, Work engagement

 Article History: Received 31 March 2019, Received in revised form 15 June 2019, Accepted 18 June 2019


No Acknowledgement.

 Compliance with ethical standards

 Conflict of interest:  The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


 Ahmed U, Khalid N, and Islam DMZ et al. (2019). Abuse, emotions, and workload in the distribution business: Implications for employees’ engagement. International Journal of Advanced and Applied Sciences, 6(8): 90-99

 Permanent Link to this page


 Fig. 1 Fig. 2


 Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5


 References (66) 

  1. Afsar B, Umrani WA, and Khan A (2019). The impact of perceived calling on work outcomes in a nursing context: The role of career commitment and living one’s calling. Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research, 24(1): 1-18.   [Google Scholar]
  2. Ahmed U, Kura KM, Umrani WA, and Pahi MH (2019). Modelling the link between developmental human resource practices and work engagement: The moderation role of service climate. Global Business Review.   [Google Scholar]
  3. Ahmed U, Majid AHA, and Zin MLM (2016). HR moderating HR: Critical link between developmental HR practices and work engagement in a moderated model. Management Review: An International Journal, 11(2): 4-22.   [Google Scholar]
  4. Ahmed U, Phulpoto W, Umrani WA, and Abbas SI (2015). Diving deep in employee training to understand employee engagement. Business and Economics Journal, 7(1): 1-4.   [Google Scholar]
  5. Ahmed U, Shah MH, Siddiqui BA, Shah SA, Dahri AS, and Qureshi MA (2017a). Troubling job demands at work: Examining the deleterious impact of workload and emotional demands on work engagement. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7(6): 96-106.   [Google Scholar]
  6. Ahmed U, Umrani WA, Pahi MH, and Shah SMM (2017b). Engaging PhD students: Investigating the role of supervisor support and psychological capital in a mediated model. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 10(2): 283-306.   [Google Scholar]
  7. Bagozzi RP and Yi Y (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16(1): 74-94.   [Google Scholar]
  8. Bakker AB and Sanz-Vergel AI (2013). Weekly work engagement and flourishing: The role of hindrance and challenge job demands. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83(3): 397-409.   [Google Scholar]
  9. Bakker AB and Schaufeli WB (2008). Positive organizational behavior: Engaged employees in flourishing organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 29(2): 147-154.   [Google Scholar]
  10. Bakker AB, Demerouti E, and Verbeke W (2004). Using the job demands‐Resources model to predict burnout and performance. Human Resource Management, 43(1): 83-104.   [Google Scholar]
  11. Barnes CM, Lucianetti L, Bhave DP, and Christian MS (2015). You wouldn’t like me when I’m sleepy”: Leaders’ sleep, daily abusive supervision, and work unit engagement. Academy of Management Journal, 58(5): 1419-1437.   [Google Scholar]
  12. Cavanaugh MA, Boswell WR, Roehling MV, and Boudreau JW (2000). An empirical examination of self-reported work stress among US managers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 85(1): 65-74.   [Google Scholar] PMid:10740957
  13. Cheung YKF and Rowlinson S (2007). Supply chain engagement through relationship management? In the Building Across Borders Built Environment Procurement CIB W092 Procurement Systems, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia: 119-126.   [Google Scholar]
  14. Choi CH, Kim TT, Lee G, and Lee SK (2014). Testing the stressor–strain–outcome model of customer-related social stressors in predicting emotional exhaustion, customer orientation and service recovery performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 36: 272-285.   [Google Scholar]
  15. Crawford ER, LePine JA, and Rich BL (2010). Linking job demands and resources to employee engagement and burnout: A theoretical extension and meta-analytic test. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(5): 834-848.   [Google Scholar] PMid:20836586
  16. Dai YD, Zhuang WL, and Huan TC (2019). Engage or quit? The moderating role of abusive supervision between resilience, intention to leave and work engagement. Tourism Management, 70: 69-77.   [Google Scholar]
  17. Demerouti E, Bakker AB, and Leiter M (2014). Burnout and job performance: The moderating role of selection, optimization, and compensation strategies. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 19(1): 96-107.   [Google Scholar] PMid:24447224
  18. Demerouti E, Le Blanc PM, Bakker AB, Schaufeli WB, and Hox J (2009). Present but sick: A three-wave study on job demands, presenteeism and burnout. Career Development International, 14(1): 50-68.   [Google Scholar]
  19. Ferguson SA, Allread WG, Burr DL, Heaney C, and Marras WS (2012). Biomechanical, psychosocial and individual risk factors predicting low back functional impairment among furniture distribution employees. Clinical Biomechanics, 27(2): 117-123.   [Google Scholar] PMid:21955915 PMCid:PMC3796440
  20. Fornell C and Larcker DF (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(3): 382-388.   [Google Scholar]
  21. Forrester J, Darden TR, Dimotakis N, Simon L, and Tepper BJ (2016). Abusive supervision and anxiety: Effects of stability and change. Academy of Management Proceedings, 2016(1): 14964.   [Google Scholar]
  22. Gursoy D, Boylu Y, and Avci U (2011). Identifying the complex relationships among emotional labor and its correlates. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 30(4): 783-794.   [Google Scholar]
  23. Hair JF, Hult GTM, Ringle C, and Sarstedt M (2016). A primer on partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM). Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, USA.   [Google Scholar]
  24. Heuven E, Bakker AB, Schaufeli WB, and Huisman N (2006). The role of self-efficacy in performing emotion work. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 69(2): 222-235.   [Google Scholar]
  25. Judge TA and Colquitt JA (2004). Organizational justice and stress: The mediating role of work-family conflict. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(3): 395-404.   [Google Scholar] PMid:15161400
  26. Karasek JRA (1979). Job demands, job decision latitude, and mental strain: Implications for job redesign. Administrative Science Quarterly, 24(2): 285-308.   [Google Scholar]
  27. Kirmeyer SL and Dougherty TW (1988). Work load, tension, and coping: Moderating effects of supervisor support. Personnel Psychology, 41(1): 125-139.   [Google Scholar]
  28. Körner A, Reitzle M, and Silbereisen RK (2012). Work-related demands and life satisfaction: The effects of engagement and disengagement among employed and long-term unemployed people. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 80(1): 187-196.   [Google Scholar]
  29. Krejcie RV and Morgan DW (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30(3): 607-610.   [Google Scholar]
  30. Lee JJ and Ok C (2012). Reducing burnout and enhancing job satisfaction: Critical role of hotel employees’ emotional intelligence and emotional labor. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 31(4): 1101-1112.   [Google Scholar]
  31. LePine JA, Podsakoff NP, and LePine MA (2005). A meta-analytic test of the challenge stressor–hindrance stressor framework: An explanation for inconsistent relationships among stressors and performance. Academy of Management Journal, 48(5): 764-775.   [Google Scholar]
  32. Llorens S, Schaufeli W, Bakker A, and Salanova M (2007). Does a positive gain spiral of resources, efficacy beliefs and engagement exist? Computers in Human Behavior, 23(1): 825-841.   [Google Scholar]
  33. Lyu Y, Zhu H, Zhong HJ, and Hu L (2016). Abusive supervision and customer-oriented organizational citizenship behavior: The roles of hostile attribution bias and work engagement. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 53: 69-80.   [Google Scholar]
  34. Macdonald K (2014). The politics of global supply chains. John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, USA.   [Google Scholar]
  35. Martinko MJ, Harvey P, Brees JR, and Mackey J (2013). A review of abusive supervision research. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(S1): S120-S137.   [Google Scholar]
  36. Melchior M, Caspi A, Milne BJ, Danese A, Poulton R, and Moffitt TE (2007). Work stress precipitates depression and anxiety in young, working women and men. Psychological Medicine, 37(8): 1119-1129.   [Google Scholar] PMid:17407618 PMCid:PMC2062493
  37. Mitchell MS and Ambrose ML (2007). Abusive supervision and workplace deviance and the moderating effects of negative reciprocity beliefs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(4): 1159-1168.   [Google Scholar] PMid:17638473
  38. Mulky AG (2013). Distribution challenges and workable solutions. IIMB Management Review, 25(3): 179-195.   [Google Scholar]
  39. Podsakoff NP, LePine JA, and LePine MA (2007). Differential challenge stressor-hindrance stressor relationships with job attitudes, turnover intentions, turnover, and withdrawal behavior: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(2): 438-454.   [Google Scholar] PMid:17371090
  40. Ringle CM, Wende S, and Will A (2005). SmartPLS 2.0 (M3) Beta. Hamburg, Germany.   [Google Scholar]
  41. Schaufeli WB, and Bakker AB (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi‐sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25(3): 293-315.   [Google Scholar]
  42. Schaufeli WB, Bakker AB, and Salanova M (2006). The measurement of work engagement with a short questionnaire: A cross-national study. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 66(4): 701-716.   [Google Scholar]
  43. Schaufeli WB, Salanova M, González-Romá V, and Bakker AB (2002). The measurement of engagement and burnout: A two sample confirmatory factor analytic approach. Journal of Happiness Studies, 3(1): 71-92.   [Google Scholar]
  44. Schweizer S, Grahn J, Hampshire A, Mobbs D, and Dalgleish T (2013). Training the emotional brain: Improving affective control through emotional working memory training. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(12): 5301-5311.   [Google Scholar] PMid:23516294
  45. Sekaran U and Bougie R (2010). Research methods for business: A skill building approach. John Willey & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK.   [Google Scholar]
  46. Siregar E (2018). Occupational stress and employee performance: A case study of plantation companies in Riau province. Management Science Letters, 8(5): 327-340.   [Google Scholar]
  47. Sonnentag S (2003). Recovery, work engagement, and proactive behavior: A new look at the interface between nonwork and work. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(3): 518-528.   [Google Scholar] PMid:12814299
  48. Sorenson S (2013). How employee engagement drives growth. Gallup Business Journal, 1: 1-4.   [Google Scholar]
  49. Stefan S (1997). You'd have to be crazy to work here: Worker stress, the abusive workplace, and Title I of the ADA. Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review, 31(3): 1795-846.   [Google Scholar]
  50. Taipale S, Selander K, Anttila T, and Nätti J (2011). Work engagement in eight European countries: The role of job demands, autonomy, and social support. International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 31(7/8): 486-504.   [Google Scholar]
  51. Tepper BJ (2000). Consequences of abusive supervision. Academy of Management Journal, 43(2): 178-190.   [Google Scholar]
  52. Tepper BJ (2007). Abusive supervision in work organizations: Review, synthesis, and research agenda. Journal of Management, 33(3): 261-289.   [Google Scholar]
  53. Tepper BJ, Duffy MK, Hoobler J, and Ensley MD (2004). Moderators of the relationships between coworkers' organizational citizenship behavior and fellow employees' attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(3): 455-465.   [Google Scholar] PMid:15161405
  54. Tepper BJ, Moss SE, and Duffy MK (2011). Predictors of abusive supervision: Supervisor perceptions of deep-level dissimilarity, relationship conflict, and subordinate performance. Academy of Management Journal, 54(2): 279-294.   [Google Scholar]
  55. Thoresen CJ, Kaplan SA, Barsky AP, Warren CR, and de Chermont K (2003). The affective underpinnings of job perceptions and attitudes: A meta-analytic review and integration. Psychological Bulletin, 129(6): 914-945.   [Google Scholar] PMid:14599288
  56. Totterdell P and Holman D (2003). Emotion regulation in customer service roles: Testing a model of emotional labor. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 8(1): 55-73.   [Google Scholar] PMid:12553529
  57. Twumasi E and Gyensare M (2016). Antecedents of employee job stress: Evidence from the insurance industry in Ghana. Management Science Letters, 6(9): 609-616.   [Google Scholar]
  58. Umrani WA, Kura KM, and Ahmed U (2018). Corporate entrepreneurship and business performance: The moderating role of organizational culture in selected banks in Pakistan. PSU Research Review, 2(1): 59-80.   [Google Scholar]
  59. Umrani WA, Mahmood R, and Ahmed U (2016). Unveiling the direct effect of corporate entrepreneurship’s dimensions on the business performance: A case of big five banks in Pakistan. Studies in Business and Economics, 11(1): 181-195.   [Google Scholar]
  60. Van Jaarsveld DD, Walker DD, and Skarlicki DP (2010). The role of job demands and emotional exhaustion in the relationship between customer and employee incivility. Journal of Management, 36(6): 1486-1504.   [Google Scholar]
  61. Van Veldhoven M and Meijman T (1994a). The measurement of psychosocial job demands with a questionnaire (VBBA). Nederlands Instituut voor Arbeidsomstandigheden (NIA), Amsterdam, Netherlands.   [Google Scholar]
  62. Van Veldhoven M and Meijman T (1994b). Het meten van psychosociale arbeidsbelasting met een vragenlijst: de vragenlijst beleving en beoordeling van de arbeid (VBBA). Nederlands Instituut voor Arbeidsomstandigheden (NIA), Amsterdam, Netherlands.   [Google Scholar]
  63. Van Woerkom M, Bakker AB, and Nishii LH (2016). Accumulative job demands and support for strength use: Fine-tuning the job demands-resources model using conservation of resources theory. Journal of Applied Psychology, 101(1): 141-150.   [Google Scholar] PMid:26121090
  64. Yu L and Duffy MK (2016). A moral licensing perspective of abusive supervision and career consequences. In the Conference of Academy of Management, Briarcliff Manor, USA, 2016(1): 15269.   [Google Scholar]
  65. Zellars KL, Tepper BJ, and Duffy MK (2002). Abusive supervision and subordinates' organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(6): 1068-1076.   [Google Scholar] PMid:12558214
  66. Zhao XR and Mattila AS (2013). Examining the spillover effect of frontline employees’ work–family conflict on their affective work attitudes and customer satisfaction. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 33: 310-315.   [Google Scholar]