Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Winter 12-2023

Document Type


Degree Name



Business Administration

Committee Chair

Robyn L. Brouer, Ph.D.


Dr. Matt Howard, Dr. Christina Wassenaar, Dr. Bill Gillis


This dissertation examines the relationship among political skill, abusive supervision, emotional labor, and burnout through the lens of the conservation of resources theory. The study proposes that political skill is a personal resource that individuals can use to buffer the negative consequences of abusive supervision and emotional labor, as well as prevent burnout. Moreover, this work proposes that political skill will lessen the harmful effects of abusive supervision on emotional labor, and emotional labor on burnout, respectively. The study also highlights the importance of political skill in managing abusive supervision, emotional labor, and burnout in organizations. This work tests a moderated mediation model with regression analysis using one independent sample of employees surveyed at a single point (Sample: N = 385). The findings did not support a significant relationship between abusive supervision and emotional labor and did not support mediation of emotional labor between abusive supervision and burnout. In addition, political skill did not moderate either stage of the relationship. On the other hand, the study did find a significant relationship between emotional labor and burnout. The dissertation also discusses several limitations and gives implications for future research on political skill, abusive supervision, emotional labor, and burnout.