How leaders perceive employee deviance: Blaming victims while excusing favorites.

Drawing from theories of attribution and perception, we posit that employees who are victims of rudeness are themselves (inappropriately) evaluated by leaders as being interpersonally deviant. We further theorize that employees who are themselves rude to others at work are evaluated negatively, but not when they have high-quality relationships with leaders or are seen as high performers. We tested our predictions across 4 studies. Our first study included 372 leader–follower pairs. Our second study extended to dyadic interactions among employees by using an employee roster method, resulting in paired data from 149 employees (2,184 dyads) across 5 restaurant locations. Our third and fourth studies utilized a policy-capturing design in which individuals provided performance evaluations for fictitious employees. We find that victims of rudeness are viewed by leaders as deviant, and that leaders are less likely to perceive rude employees as deviant when these perpetrators are seen as having high levels of leader–member exchange (LMX) or performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)