Jeremy Mackey is Harbert College’s foremost expert on abusive supervision and interpersonal mistreatment in the workplace. In fact, the assistant professor in management’s top co-authored articles, “A review of abusive supervision research,” and “Abusive supervision: A meta-analysis and empirical review” have been cited a combined 416 times since 2013. Mackey expertise has also covered job stress with veterans, the relationship between personality and aggression, and cognitive ability and motivation.
It’s no wonder that Mackey, who has had more than a dozen journal articles published or accepted for publication since 2016, was presented with Harbert College’s Outstanding Rising Scholar Award at the conclusion of the Spring 2019 semester. His work has appeared in such elite publications as the Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology and Strategic Management Journal.
“The university has done a really nice job of ensuring that I’ve been put in a position to be successful,” said Mackey, a native Virginian. “I teach an organizational behavior class here at Harbert College. Teaching a class like that helps me keep a broader perspective on organizational behavior, and all of the pieces within an organization.
“Rather than teaching five or six different classes, I teach my one organizational behavior class. That enables me to grow very strong in that specific research area and remain focused in that one area.”
Why abusive supervision? Early on in his graduate studies, Mackey noticed that many peer scholars chose to research leadership. Instead, Mackey stood out.
“There were probably a hundred different types of leadership to research,” he noted. “I got lucky, because at the time the advisor I was working with was really into abusive supervision. I fell into that my first semester at Florida State University, where I received my doctorate, and was labeled ‘the abusive supervision guy’ and ran with it.”
Why spend so much time in research? It’s fun, Mackey said.
“Research comes down to the idea of knowledge generation,” he said. “If you can find people like me who view research as their hobby, suddenly it doesn’t feel like work. Then we’re going to have people who are very well-informed who can go to the community at-large and explain why some things happen and hopefully have practical, useful recommendations that are personally meaningful for practitioners.
“That’s what research is all about.”