The psychosocial consequences of smartphone usage in public are widespread and well documented in personal relationships. However, this line of inquiry has recently gained momentum in the context of work relationships. This study examines the relationship between a supervisor’s phubbing behavior (using a smartphone while interacting with subordinates) and subordinates’ supervisor identification with the mediating role of subordinates’ psychological distress while testing the moderating role of subordinates’ self-control. Using structured questionnaires, time-lagged data were collected in three waves from frontline bank workers (n = 283), who work directly under their supervisors and require frequent interactions with them. The results indicate that supervisor phubbing reduces subordinates’ identification with the supervisor both directly and indirectly through psychological distress. Moreover, subordinates’ high self-control weakens the negative relationship between supervisor phubbing and subordinates’ supervisor identification. Implications for organizational executives and future research directions for scholars also are discussed.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Psychological distress
- Subordinates’ supervisor identification
- Supervisor phubbing