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Employee Silence as Mediator in the Relationship between Toxic Leadership Behavior and Organizational Learning


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Most of the organizations are striving to implement organizational leaning philosophy to have a competitive advantage in complex, volatile and fierce market environment. Except few, organizations mostly fail and face immense problems to establish effective learning organization processes. In such scenario, leadership behaviors may derail the organizational success into failures. The study intends to examine the mediating effect of employee silence between toxic leadership and organizational learning relationship. In all 445 responses were collected from employees serving in Pakistani banking sector. The results revealed that there is a significant impact of toxic leadership on employee silence and organizational learning. Furthermore, the mediation analysis revealed significant mediation of employee silence from toxic leadership on organizational learning. While most of existing research has assessed positive leadership styles and its impact on individual and organizational behaviors the present study takes in to account negative leadership i.e. toxic leadership.
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Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
Employee Silence as Mediator in the Relationship between Toxic
Leadership Behavior and Organizational Learning
Adeel Saqib
PhD. Scholar, Bahria University, Islamabad
Muhammad Arif
Associate Professor, Bahria University, Islamabad
Most of the organizations are striving to implement organizational leaning
philosophy to have a competitive advantage in complex, volatile and fierce
market environment. Except few, organizations mostly fail and face immense
problems to establish effective learning organization processes. In such scenario,
leadership behaviors may derail the organizational success into failures. The
study intends to examine the mediating effect of employee silence between toxic
leadership and organizational learning relationship. In all 445 responses were
collected from employees serving in Pakistani banking sector. The results
revealed that there is a significant impact of toxic leadership on employee
silence and organizational learning. Furthermore, the mediation analysis
revealed significant mediation of employee silence from toxic leadership on
organizational learning. While most of existing research has assessed positive
leadership styles and its impact on individual and organizational behaviors the
present study takes in to account negative leadership i.e. toxic leadership.
Keywords: Toxic Leadership; Employee Silence; Organizational Learning;
Hayes Process Model 4.
Leaders are considered elemental for success or failure of an
organization. As leaders, may become source of learning, innovation and
organizational success (Berson, Da'as, & Waldman, 2015) or turn out to
be barrier to learning and organizational failure by negatively influencing
the emotions and behaviors of the individuals (Schilling & Kluge, 2009;
Xu, Loi, & Lam, 2015). These contradicting leadership behaviors invite
the attention of the researchers to understand both positive and negative
aspects of leadership to fully understand the leadership phenomenon
(Kaiser, LeBreton, & Hogan, 2015; Karakitapoğlu-Aygün &
Gumusluoglu, 2013). Existing research has witnessed a number of
leadership behaviors and styles that are facilitating to organizational
learning (Vera & Crossan, 2004) like transformational leadership
(García-Morales, Miménez-Barrionuevo, & Gutiérrez-Gutiérrez, 2012),
ambidexterity leadership (Nemanich & Vera, 2009), transaction
leadership (Jansen, Vera & Crossan, 2009)). However, toxic leadership
behaviors in relationship to organizational learning is a missing link as
emphasized by Berson et al. (2015) and Walumbwa, Hartnell, Misati
(2017). The present study is an attempt to bridge this literature gap.
A growing interest of scholars has been observed on the toxic
behaviors at workplace in general (Linstead, Maréchal, & Griffin, 2014).
Especially, scholars viewe that toxic behaviors displayed by leaders have
intense detrimental effects on organizational learning and performance
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
(Indradevi, 2016; Mehta & Maheshwari, 2014; Schilling & Kluge, 2009).
In addition, mostly studies in toxic leadership literature have examined
negative consequences of toxic leadership behaviors on individual level
constructs (Fowlie & Wood, 2009; Kellerman, 2004), whereas, very few
studies are available on organizational level factors (Leed, 2011; Mehta
& Maheshwari, 2014; Temper, 2000). For example, literature identified
toxic leadership as a potential antecedent of increased turnover intention,
employee dissatisfaction, lack of commitment and psychological distress
like anxiety, burnout, depression, disengagement, low level of self-
esteem, emotional exhaustion, and employee Silence (Brinsfield,
Edwards, & Greenberg, 2009; Webster, Beehr, & Love, 2011; Tepper,
2000; Xu, Loi, & Lam, 2015). The study has examined both, at
individual level employee silence and at organizational level
organizational learning in relation to toxic leadership.
An extensive literature review provoked that toxic behaviors
results in to counter-productive work behaviors (Goldman 2006) and
toxic climates prevailing in the organizations, the individuals hesitate to
share their experiences, feeling uncomfortable to disclose the problems
they face during their work. This is because the leaders may negatively
perceive their capabilities or may negatively credit their contributions
(Schilling & Kluge, 2009). Furthermore, Xu et al. (2015) identified that
abusive supervision a dimension of toxic leadership behaviors causes
employee silence through employee emotional exhaustion. Similarly,
employee silence, a barrier to the upward communication, leaving
organizational decision makers unaware about the ground realities and
problems of the organization causing problems to valuable decision
making, further leading to depleted organizational performance
(Schilling & Kluge, 2009). Keeping in view the arguments, the current
study aimed to provide more insight in to the impact of toxic leadership
on organizational learning and to further evaluate the mediating role of
employee silence between the toxic leadership and organizational
The study has followed the theory of conservation of resources
(COR) (Hobfoll, 1989; Xu et al., 2015) as the main source to find the
relationship between the variables of the study. The study has assumed
that the organizations having negativity in the environment tend to
impact individual’s performance negatively, because they reactively
conserve there physical , psychological and knowledge related resources
and utilize them for copping and dealing with the leader (Padilla, Hogan,
& Kaiser, 2007) one of the coping strategy that these abused individuals
is to be silent and try to hide the facts from the bosses (Xu et al. 2015),
which become a barrier to organizational learning (Kaiser & Craig, 2014;
Morrison, 2014; Schilling & Kluge, 2009).
The study is based in Pakistani banking sector which is
characterized of employee burnout, emotional exhaustion, high turnover
rate, which causes loss of valuable knowledge, teamwork spirit, high
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
retention and recruitment problems (Hussain, 2012). The study view,
ineffective leadership as the main cause of overall dissatisfaction and
low-level performance. Therefore, the study focused on the leadership
and employee behaviors like toxicity, and silence as an important input
to solve the overall and individual problems related to learning and
Literature Review
Toxic Leadership Behaviors
Toxic Leadership (TOXL) is considered as an array of
destructive behaviors that drive the leaders to achieve personal goals and
benefits by compromising the interests of individuals, teams and
organizations (Schmidt, 2014). Goldman (2006) further explained that
destructive behaviors of leaders have the capacity to trickle down to
lower level employees at workplace.
Scholars view that constructive or destructive behaviors of
leaders emerge from the interaction of leadership, followers, and
working environment (Bagherith, 1994; Lipman-Blumen, 2005; Padilla,
Hogan & Kaiser, 2007; Steele, 2011). Zellars, Tepper and Duffy (2002)
and Webster et al. (2011) found that toxic leadership behaviors cause
turnover intention, dissatisfaction, lack of commitment and
psychological distress like anxiety, depression, burnout and
disengagement. In addition, emotional exhaustion and employee silence
are observed due to abusive leadership behaviors (Xu, et al., 2015).
The Banking context of Pakistan seems relevant because Bartel
(2004) has suggested the exploration of behaviors in banks. Further, the
negative side of the leadership is under researched (Yukl, 2012),
specifically in the collectivist cultures like Pakistan (Khilji, 2012). The
study following Schmidt (2008) has identified five dimensions of toxic
leadership, including self-promotion, abusive supervision,
unpredictability, narcissism, and authoritarian leadership.
Organizational Learning (OL)
The OL is considered as a process where organizations get
knowledge through communication, utilize it for the solution of
problems, managing the paradoxes and adapt to their institutional fields
for success and innovation (Argyris, 1999; Crossan, Maurer & White,
2011; Huber, 1991). Huber (1991) explained that effective acquisition,
sharing, analysis and memory of knowledge leads to successful
The current literature based on the work of Vince (2004) and
Lawrence, Mauws, Dyck and Kleysen, (2005) assumes that
organizational learning is a socio-political process, where emotions and
relationships between different actors in the organizations, result in to
learning. Schelling and Kluge (2009) studied barriers to organizational
learning and have advocated that leadership is one of the main reason of
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
the failure of organizational learning. Hence, due to significance of the
topic in practice and literature. The study has focused on the examination
of the linkage between toxic leadership and organizational learning in
banking sector.
Employee Silence (ES)
Employee silence is considered as employees deliberate hiding
of important ideas information, queries, concerns or views about matters
related to their job position and their organizations (Brinsfield et al.
2009; Dyne, Ang & Botero, 2003; Tangirala & Ramanujam, 2008).
Ashford, Sutcliffe and Christianson (2009) noted that most of the key
decision makers (leaders) remain unaware about the silence behaviors of
employees and assume that employees are freely communicating up-
ward without hesitation. Detert, Burris, and Harrison (2010) reported that
there is an evidence that silence behavior exists in many organizations
and employees are often hesitant to engage in voice, specially, when they
have information that is against the leadership view point. This
deprivation of valuable knowledge leads to negative consequences and
wastage of valuable assets in the organizations (Morrison, 2014). Hence,
organizations fail to learn due to employee silence behavior, which
requires to be examined.
Toxic Leadership and Organizational Learning
Although, organizational learning is a source of innovation and
competitive advantage (Akhtar, Khan & Mujtaba, 2013). Yet, scholars
contend that the leadership specific behaviors create problems for
organizational learning by halting communication (Lawrence et al.
2005). The research explains that leaders and followers cannot interact
together at workplace without following their cultural values, political
affiliations and emotional conditions (Lawrence et al. 2005; Vince, 2004;
Vince & Saleem, 2004). Thus, resultant learning in the organizations is
the outcome of their social and emotional interactions subject to personal
interests, which impedes the organizational learning. Similarly, the
cultures rich with the power distance between the subordinate and leader
are more inclined towards the hording of information, creates a gap,
where the subordinate feels uncomfortable to communicate with the boss
(Hofstede,1991). Based on the discussion, the study postulated that:
H1: Toxic Leadership behaviors have significant negative impact on
organizational learning.
Toxic Leadership Behavior and Employee’s Silence
Toxic leadership behaviors are destructive to emotions, leading
to emotional exhaustion and employee Silence with in work setting (Ng
& Feldman, 2012). Tepper (2007) and Whitman et al. (2014) based on
the theory of conservation of resources explained that when subordinates
face negative behavior of their supervisors. They intend to adopt
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
avoidant or passive copping behaviors and hence try to remain away
from the source of stress and exhaustion i.e. toxic leader. Based on these
assumptions the study postulated that toxic leadership behaviors cause
increase in employee silence.
H2: Toxic Leadership have significant negative impact on employees
Employee Silence and Organizational Learning.
Literature provide evidence that employee silence behavior is a
hurdle in the way to organizational learning (Morrison, 2014).
Employees silence which is viewed as an individual choice involves a
decision about whether to have a voice or to remain silent in the context
of an organizational problem that affects the individual employee (Lewin
& Mitchell, 1992; McCabe & Lewin, 1992; Withey & Cooper, 1989).
Staying silent about organizational problems can result in a decision to
leave the job or remain silent if the cost of voice is too high or if there is
no upward communication mechanism (Morrison & Milliken, 2000). In
addition, organizational silence can stifle organizational learning by
restricting the amount and flow of information that could affect
decisions, problem-solving and innovation processes. In result, the study
postulated H3b, that
H3: Employee Silence has negative impact on Organizational Learning
Mediating Role of Employee Silence Between Toxic Leadership and
Organizational Learning
The study based on the theory of conservation of resources view
that toxic leadership cause the employees in to conserve their physical,
psychological and knowledge resources for coping strategies instead of
contributing in the decision making and performance outcomes (Xu, et
al. 2015). Hence the study based on the discussion in the previous
sections and theory of conservation of resources postulated H4, that
H4: Employee Silence mediates between Toxic Leadership and
Organizational Learning relationship
Conceptual Framework
Figure 1: Mediating role of ES between TXLB and OL
Toxic Leadership
Employee Silence
Organizational Learning
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
Research Methodology
Population and Sample
Individuals working in 24 commercial banks, listed in Pakistan
Stock Exchange (PSE) were selected with a total population of 2100
employees serving in different branches in one of the cities of Pakistan.
Stratified random sampling helped in categorizing the banks into large
(Total assets greater than Rs. 500 billion), medium (total assets greater
than or equal to 100 billion - Rs. 500 billion) and small (total assets less
than or equal to Rs. 100 billion) banks. A total of 715 questionnaires
were distributed among the employees working in the three categories of
the banks and retrieved back 445 (72%) sound responses, included in the
data analysis. To measure main variables, the study adapted different
scales from already established literature. To assess toxic leader (IV),
Employee Silence (M) and Organizational learning the study adapted the
scales developed by Schmidt (2008), Tangirala and Ramanujam (2008)
and García-Morales, Lloréns-Montes and Verdú-Jover (2007)
respectively. The five point Likert scale is maintained for all the
Data Analysis and Results
The data was analyzed using AMOS and SPSS for this study.
The demographic information of the respondents revealed that an
average age of the respondents is in the category from 20 to 29 years,
consisting of 51.5% of the sample. Whereas, minimum number of
respondents fall in a category of 60 and above consisting of only one
employee. Gender distribution of the study illustrated that majority of the
respondents were Male (84.4%). Whereas, female respondents were just
15.5% of the sample. Educational qualification depicted that majority of
bankers i.e. 236 (53%) fall in post graduate level/ master’s degree,
following graduate level (B.A, B.Sc.) 152 (34.2%). Whereas, small
number of respondents only 23 (5.2%) have research degrees (MS or
PhD.). The descriptive statistic (mean and standard deviation) of the
main variables for n=445 illustrated with Toxic leadership (M=2.68;
SD=.73), Employee Silence (M=3.12; SD=.82) and organizational
learning (M=3.56; SD=.83).
Reliability and Validity
Cronbach alpha test has been used to test the reliability of the
constructs (Wong, 2016). In addition, Convergent validity is established
if an AVE of 0.5 or greater is achieved for the constructs. AVE is
calculated, the results revealed that convergent validity for all constructs
is established since the statistics for AVE for all the factors is
approximately equal to or greater than .50. Furthermore, Ping (2004) and
Wong (2016) explained that in case where AVE is lower than .5 value of
convergent validity should be evaluated along with composite reliability.
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
Here the composite reliability for all constructs is well above .70 i.e.
between .718 and 859.
Table 1 Cronbach’s Alpha & AVE
No. of
Toxic Leadership
Abusive Supervision
Employee Silence
Organizational Learning
Discriminant Validity
Discriminant validity satisfy the condition that how much
sufficiently distinct constructs are strongly non-correlated with each
other. The discriminant validity condition is satisfied if the value of
square root of AVE for individual construct is more than the Inter-
correlation of all the distinct constructs. Malhotra and Dash (2011)
further explained that AVE is the strict measure and we can use
composite reliability along with the AVE while conferring reliability and
validity. The composite reliability for all the constructs were between
.718 and .859. Which is more than the cutoff value of .7, as shown in
table 2.
Table 2: Comparison of Square root of AVE and Inter-Construct
Confirmatory Factor Analysis and evaluation of Measurement
The model of the present study proposed three different
constructs namely TXLB (IV), OL (DV) and ES (M) and their direct and
indirect effects. This section covers the confirmatory factor analysis to
evaluate that whether the data fits the measurement and structural models
or not.
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
Evaluations of Measurement Models:
Exploratory factor analysis revealed a five factors solution for
toxic leadership where, the model extracted comprised of 23 items. The
model was then exposed to confirmatory factor analysis. The results
showed a good fit to a five-factor model: (
2/df = 467.9/217 (CMIN =
2.156), SRMR = .04; CFI = .94, TLI = .93, RMSEA = .05. None of the
items were removed as part of CFA. Standardized regressions weights
and CR values are reported in table 4.
Exploratory factor analysis revealed a single factor solution for
employee silence. The model consisted of five items. The model was
then estimated through confirmatory factor analysis. The results revealed
a relatively good fit to the model: (
2/df = 2.944/3 (CMIN = 2.944),
SRMR = .02; CFI = .98, TLI = .98, RMSEA = .08. None of the items
were removed as part of CFA. Standardized regressions weights and CR
values are reported in table 4.
Exploratory factor analysis revealed a single factor solution for
organizational learning. The model consisted of overall five items. The
model was then subjected to confirmatory factor analysis. The
measurement model estimation showed a relatively good fit to the model:
2/df = 12.616/3 (CMIN = 1.633), SRMR = .02; CFI = .98, TLI = .96,
RMSEA = .08. None of the items were removed as part of CFA.
Standardized regressions weights and CR values are reported in table 4.
Table 4: Toxic Leadership, Employee Silence and OL Regression
Weights & CR Values
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
Self-Promotion and Lack of Concern
. 737
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
Organizational Learning
Organizational Learning
Organizational Learning
Organizational Learning
Employee Silence
Employee Silence
Employee Silence
Employee Silence
Employee Silence
Hypothesis Testing
Toxic Leadership and Organizational Learning
For hypothesis 1, structural model was developed. The model
when subjected to confirmatory factor analysis showed a good fit: (
= 601.911/312 (CMIN = 1.929), SRMR = .04; CFI = .94, TLI = .93,
RMSEA = .04. Overall the results indicate the 8% change in
organizational learning can be attributed through toxic leadership
behaviors. The results of analysis revealed that toxic leadership has
insignificantly negative impact on organizational learning (Std. Est. = -
.082, C.R = -1.155 p > .05) Hence, H1 is not Supported. Although as per
Baron and Kenny (1986) first condition of direct relationship between IV
and DV is not satisfied. Yet Preacher & Hayes (2008) argued that the
process can be proceeded and mediation can be established without the
condition of significant total effect i.e. relationship between IV and DV.
Consequently, following Preacher and Hayes (2008) the study tested
Employee Silence as Mediator
During the analysis, the study estimated three models. i.e. (1) the
model that estimated the path a”, (2) the path b and c’ and (3) the direct
impact of the iv on the dv, path c. The table 8. illustrates the model
fitness summary.
The study revealed that toxic leadership significantly predict the
mediator employee silence “a path” (b = .20, SE= 0.05, t=3.82.
p<.001). Secondly, the test showed that mediator employee silence has
significant impact on organizational learning (DV) “b path” (b=.12,
SE=.05, t=2.45, p<.05). In addition to path a and b, the study estimated
the direct effect of TOXL on OL i.e. “c’ path” (b=-.11, SE=.05, t=-2.16,
p<.05) by controlling mediator. and finally, total effect of toxic
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
leadership on organizational learning was estimated c path” (b=-.09,
SE=.05, t=-1.69, p=.09), which indicated that direct effects is non-
The study analyzed the mediation effect by assessing the
significance of the indirect effect i.e. (a * b). Where, the estimation
indirect effect (a * b) test is considered the best among all the available
methods for mediation testing (MacKinnon, Lockwood, Hoffman, West
& Sheets, 2002; MacKinnon, Lockwood & Williams, 2004). To estimate
the effect size of the mediator the study utilized the Preacher and Hayes
(2004) suggestion for effect size. The test revealed that a*b or indirect
effect size is significant at 95%, confidence interval (CI), as CI (.01, .05)
does not consist zero between the upper and lower limit of CI, therefore
the indirect effect is significant. To further confirm indirect effect size
the study estimated the standardized indirect effect size which was also
significant at 95% CI, with b=.02, Boot SE=.01 and CI (.01, .05) as CI
upper and lower does not consist zero. Similarly, SOBEL test result
revealed significance of effect size with z=2.16 and p<.05. Hence
following Hayes (2013) the study has revealed that the relationship
between toxic leadership and organizational learning is mediated by
employee silence. Hence it proves our hypothesis 4. The table 9 depict
the summarized estimates.
Table 9. Bootstrapped point estimate and confidence intervals of the
mediating effect of employee silence between toxic leadership and
organizational learning
path vis
(95%) CI
a path
b path
Note. N = 445. bootstrap sample size = 5000. CI = confidence interval;
n.s.= insignificant.
***p ≤ 0.001, **p ≤ 0.01, *p ≤ 0.05.
The study aimed to examine the mediating role of employee
silence between toxic leadership behaviors and organizational learning.
The findings of the study revealed that toxic leadership has non-
significant impact on organizational learning in banking sector of
Pakistan, which is against the main understanding that toxic leadership is
a barrier to organizational learning (Aygyris, 1997). In response, the
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
study based on the work of Schilling and Kluge (2009), view that
preventing the acquisition, processing, and distribution of information is
a micro-political activity that is supported by Lawrence et al (2005) who
consider that the episodic power is exercised by the leaders and
organizations benefitting the self-interested actors, instead of
contributing truly to the organizational learning.
The present findings illustrated that toxic leadership behaviors
have significant positive impact on the employee silence. Which is in
line with the previous studies (See, Xu, 2015; Tepper, 2007; Schilling &
Kluge, 2009; Goldman, 2012). These scholars have identified that the
toxic leadership behaviors have the capacity to tickle down and
negatively affect employees causing emotional exhaustion and silence.
The third finding reveled interesting research finding that
employee silence increases when the toxic leadership behaviors
increases, but these employees has also shown that their silence
contribute positively to the organizational learning. Which as per the
concept of proactive silence phenomenon the employees remain silent to
bring prosperity in the organization and allow the organization to work
for the benefit of the organizations at large (Huang, Vliert, & Vegt,
The main finding that employee silence mediates between toxic
leadership and organizational learning is supported and is in line with the
assumptions of (Schilling and Kluge, 2009; Xu et al, 2015). This is
because the trickling down effect of the toxic leadership that leads to the
employee silence and then ultimately to organizational learning
(Goldman, 2012). Furthermore, the theory of conservation of resources
theory the employees hid their resources information and knowledge, as
a coping strategy (Xu, et al. 2015).
Furthermore, Hofstede (1991) pointed out that people from
cultures with a large power distance are less likely to voice their
concerns. One possible explanation could be the conflict avoidance and
acceptance of the norms and values of the system as they feel that these
policies are broader and employees are unable to amend them, so they
communicate with filtered information without considering broader
outcomes (See. Argyris, 1999).
The study has contributed in knowledge, research and practice.
Where the study has explained toxic leadership, employee silence and
organizational performance relationship using conservation of resources
theory. The study revealed that even though the toxic leadership is not
directly related to the organizational learning, there are evidences that
toxic leadership influences employee silence behavior and that contribute
in to the organizational learning process indirectly.
The study is first in its type, as per researcher’s knowledge, that
has collectively considered TOXL behaviors (namely narcissism, self-
promotion, abusive supervision, unpredictability, and authoritarian
leadership), employees silence and organizational learning in a single
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
model. Most of the TOXL studies are conducted in the individualistic
cultures whereas the collectivist culture like Pakistan is neglected (See.
Khilji, 2012). Methodologically, the study has utilized process model
developed by Hayes (2013) to assess the mediating effect, instead of
Barron and Kenny (1986) logic and secondly, the research has employed
probability sampling Stratified Random Sampling technique that
helped to minimize the sampling biases.
The study findings hold several important managerial
implications. Firstly, it is suggested that the organizations should set up
such channels that provide leverage to the employees to voice out against
their leaders’ behaviors. Human resource developmental and employee
assistance programs should be initiated to make their employees capable
to effectively cope up toxic leadership through planned behaviors. The
study suggests the adoption of different organizational learning processes
that can motivate individuals to share information. In addition, the
employees should be equipped with knowledge, skills and mindsets that
enable them to cope up with the adverse behaviors of their leaders. In
this continuation, the OD interventions like appreciation inquiry
(Cooperrider & Srivastva, 1987) and development of positive
psychological capitals (Luthans, Youssef, & Avolio, 2007) would be of
The study intended to examine mediating role of employee silence
between toxic leadership and organizational learning. The results
revealed that the employee silence mediates the relationship between
toxic leadership and organizational performance. Consequently, it is the
responsibility of the organizations to take necessary actions for the
curtailment of the toxic leadership behaviors by establishing diagnostics
procedures for the identification of toxic leadership behaviors and
developmental programs for leadership should be introduced. On the
other side, the organizations should formulate policies and procedures
preemptive to the exposure of employees to toxic behaviors. This
research suggests the development of organizational interventions to
increase levels of employee coping and well-being so that leaders and
employees together work for organizational learning and success of the
Limitations and Future Research Directions
The study is cross-sectional, the data was collected from a single
city of Pakistan, therefore it is subject to generalizability issue. The study
suggests the addition of more potential variables that might mediate
between the toxic leadership and organizational learning like leader
member exchange quality, organizational politics and mechanisms
(Schilling & Kluge, 2009). The future studies should validate these
results in other sectors and geographical areas.
Abasyn Journal of Social Sciences Vol (10), Issue (2), 2017.
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... According to academics, leaders' displays of toxic behavior have a significant and profoundly negative impact on the organizational learning and performance of their organizations. 9 It is equally interesting to note that toxic leaders never regard their behavior as being negative, and they always believe that their behavior is socially acceptable. This is an interesting fact since it explains why toxic leaders continue to engage in such activity. ...
... The damaging behavior of leaders in the workplace has the potential to trickle down to lower-level personnel in the organization. 9 Scholars have defined toxic leadership as "a type of leadership characterized by abusive behavior used to bully or manipulate people." 12 This type of leadership is also referred to as destructive leadership, dark leadership, or, more simply, poor leadership. ...
... Additionally, as a result of the abusive behavior of the leadership, employees exhibited signs of emotional tiredness and silence. 9 When their feelings of self-worth are attacked, employees' selfconfidence as well as their individual performance will decrease, is another study that supports our work in which the sub-dimensions of toxic leadership namely unappreciativeness, self-esteem and self-seeking have a negative correlation with job satisfaction and employee performance. 26 ...
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This research intends to shed additional light on the effects of toxic leadership on employee satisfaction, motivation, and performance. Such a study on toxic leadership is required since, to date, no research in Indonesia have sought to quantify the consequences of toxic leadership on organizational leaders. Using surveys and structural equation modeling, a quantitative strategy was adopted (SEM). The research sample amounted to 400 taken from 8 locations in Indonesia. Using Google Forms, questionnaires were distributed to 400 employees and analyzed using the Lisrel 8.5 program. The results show that toxic leadership has an effect on job satisfaction (p > 0.00), toxic leadership has an effect on work motivation (p > 0.00), toxic leadership has no effect on employee performance (p < 0.00), job satisfaction has an effect on work motivation (p > 0.00), job satisfaction has effect on employee performance (p > 0.00) work motivation has no effect on employee performance (p < 0.00). The consequences of the study findings for organizations range from the process of screening and selection of leaders to creating stress management and self-resilience training to help employees deal with their emotions in healthy ways and strengthen their defenses.
... Destructive leadership is a broad concept that covers various types of behavior and emotions of leaders. Similar to the idea of destructive leadership are toxic leadership (Goldman, 2006;Saqib and Arif, 2017;Mehta and Maheshwari, 2014), abusive behavior (Thau et al., 2009;Hayat et al., 2021), unethical and poor leadership (Albaum, 2014), bad leaders (Schyns and Schilling, 2013), leadership styles (Burns 2017), and narcissistic leadership (Aboramadan et al. 2020). Destructive leadership is one of a kind that leads to employee silence. ...
... Organizations today are competing in a complex and competitive market environment. In such an environment, the leader's behavior may turn the organization's success into failure (Saqib and Arif, 2017). The unethical behavior of the leaders is considered detrimental to overall organizational performance. ...
... Studies have shown that when employee engagement and interest are low, the organizational environment is affected and hurts organizational performance. This research corroborates Saqib and Arif (2017), who studied employee silence as the mediating factor between leadership and culture, and Aboramadan et al. (2020), who studied narcissistic leadership as someone that contributes to a silent culture in organizations. ...
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This paper is an outcome of the business ethics course conducted during the third semester of the MBA course and aims to examine how a subordinate employee’s response, either by raising a concern or being quiet to repeated misbehavior of the leader, impacts an organization. Primary data was collected from the employees of mid-sized IT companies in India using a five-point Likert scale questionnaire. Structural equation modeling has been used to analyze the data. Mediation analysis has been conducted to verify the mediating role of organizational culture. It is found that if an employee feels safe in an environment, they open up to suggestions or else suppress their thoughts to escape repercussion. The analysis shows that silence and voice in an organization have an impact on the organization’s culture. The implications of this study show that leaders violate the integrity of the organization by vandalizing the organization's objectives, outcomes, assets, and well-being of the co-employees. Previous studies have not focused on the mediating role of organizational culture on employee voice or silence.
... Further, additional coping measures could be encouraged and supported for those affected associates as they navigate their emotional response to the toxic behaviors. These findings are supported in the literature by Tepper (2000), Saqib and Arif (2017), and Scott (2018). Organizations may observe, for example, an increasing number of associates who are leaving the office for mid-day walks and view this as a potential coping mechanism for an increase in stress and fatigue in the workplace. ...
... As the participants shared their specific activities to help cope, they shared everything from exercise and meditation to retaliation. These common coping mechanisms are well documented in the literature by Tepper (2000), Saqib and Arif (2017), and Scott (2018), and there is consistency found in this study. ...
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In the context of leadership evaluation and toxic personalities, much extant literature serves to review the characteristics and traits associated with toxic leadership. However, few studies explore the conducive conditions supporting these individuals; and still fewer studies provide insight in how leadership and others may be empowered to overcome and restore trust and organizational culture and to support employee retention. This qualitative phenomenological study considers the lived experiences of a varied cross-section of fourteen people-leaders who have worked for or alongside toxic leaders, and presents practices towards culture recovery and employee retention. Further presented is an integrative framework tool to assist in these culture recovery and associate retention efforts. This study reviews the toxic leadership actions and consequences, the follower observations and contributions, and the organizational factors found in these circumstances with the central question: What are the influencers that affect associate retention where a toxic leader has existed, and what steps can organizations proactively act upon to positively influence associate retention?
... Employee silence limits upward communication, keeps decision-makers in the organization in the dark about the organization's concerns, delays the making of timely choices, and lowers organizational performance, thus reducing employee satisfaction [24]. Therefore, for organizations, employee silence constitutes a great challenge with complicated concerns, as the effectiveness of leadership depends on the effectiveness of communication between leaders and employees [25]. ...
... Employee silence, according to empirical study, diminishes job satisfaction and leads to more job burnout [55,56]. According to the SDT view, it is suggested that transactional leadership may reduce the perceived autonomy and competence of employees because it emphasizes the principles of reward and control, which can demotivate the level of satisfaction between individuals and increase silence [24,28,57]. Therefore, the current study contends that the relationship between transactional leadership behaviors and job satisfaction will be significantly impacted by employee silence. ...
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The literature has shown that a positive relationship between transactional leadership and job satisfaction in private and public organizations exist. This relationship is critical for sustained organizational performance; however, this relationship can be challenged by the existence of employee silence in the organizational setting. Based on self-determination theory, this study measured the impact of transactional leadership on job satisfaction as well as the part of employee silence in the leadership–satisfaction relationship in a public organizational setting. The study sample consisted of employees working at the Ministry of Justice in Jordon, and 450 questionnaires were applied with 357 useable questionnaires being returned. The data were tested through confirmatory factor analysis, correlation and regression analyses, and structural equation modeling. The results showed a strong positive relationship between transactional leadership and job satisfaction, though employee silence as a mediator indicated reduced job satisfaction. The importance of public organization leaders being more mindful towards the employee silence phenomenon and how it can be detrimental in the transactional leadership–job satisfaction relationship was highlighted.
... According to Zaman et al. [6] and Zhu, Wang, Yu, Müller, and Sun [7], employees are better controlled and motivated to achieve targets under toxic leaders, whereas Saleem, Malik and Malik [8] found only two out of five dimensions of toxic leadership harmful to the performance of employees. Moreover, Saqib and Arif [9] found that toxic leaders significantly contribute to organizational learning, leading to success. ...
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Project success is the backbone of competitiveness and sustainability. The study aims to examine the role of cronyism in the relationship between toxic leadership and project success while taking information technology projects as the study context. Cross-sectional data (n = 240) was collected through closed-ended survey questionnaires to record the responses of IT project employees. The structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used for analyzing the collected data. Results revealed a negative relationship between toxic leadership and project success, while cronyism positively and significantly mediated the relationship and converted the negative relationship between TL and PS to a positive relationship.
... 1312). Saquib and Arif (2017) demonstrate that toxic leadership can stunt organizational learning. The type of dynamic described here instantly reduces organizational effectiveness and thwarts the growth and development of followers, which will produce less of the desired organizational outcome. ...
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Toxic leadership is a type of leadership that is destructive to members of a team, an organization, and society at large. It is ubiquitous and ever-present in a variety of settings. Yet, within the larger body of the leadership literature, toxic leadership accounts for a surprisingly small percentage of the leadership research. There are dozens of widely known and well documented cases of the devastating consequences of toxic leadership. So, why is there such little scientific interest in conceptualizing and operationalizing toxic leadership? This paper explores the multi-faceted elements of toxic leadership and reviews the behaviors, characteristics, and consequences associated with toxic leadership. The paper demonstrates what healthy leadership looks like and presents a working definition of toxic leadership. Such a working definition is vitally important to allow the academic community to build upon for further study and research.
The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on changes in the economy and society in meeting their daily needs, not least what happened in the fashion world, such as Mayoutfit. The study examines the effect of Instagram social media on online buying interest. The study also examines the effect of trust on online buying interest and the effect of risk on online buying interest. The method used is quantitative because the data in the study are in the form of numbers, and the analysis uses statistics. The number of samples set is 100 respondents. Based on the results of the multiple regression test, it can be seen that the results of the t-test of the Instagram social media variable obtained a t-count value of 4.275 > t- table 1,984 and a significance of 0.000 < 0.05. The confidence variable obtained t arithmetic value of 1.124 < t-table 1.984 and a significance of 0.264 > 0.05. The value of tcount 6.424 obtained the risk variable> t-table 1984 and a significance of 0.000 < 0.05. then the results of F count 97.042 > F-table 2.70 and a significance value of 0.000 < 0.05. So it can be concluded that the Instagram social media variables and risk of Hₐ are accepted, and H₀ are rejected. Furthermore, the confidence variable H₀ is accepted, and Hₐ is rejected.
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Leadership has been an essential topic of organizational science since the beginning of this field. Previously, researchers focused on how successful leaders improve organizations and increase the effectiveness of their followers. This study examines the effect of toxic leadership on organizational performance mediated by work deviant behavior (WDB) of employees with a sample of 100 respondents. The method used in this research is quantitative, in the form of a questionnaire. The results of this study indicate that toxic leadership significantly affects organizational performance, which is significantly less than 0.05. Toxic leadership significantly affects deviant employee behavior, as indicated by a significant value of less than 0.05. Deviant behavior in the workplace has no significant effect on organizational performance with a significantly less than or equal to 0.05. Deviant behavior in the workplace mediates toxic leadership with organizational performance with a direct influence value of 0.734 and an indirect effect of 0.901, so all hypotheses are accepted. This will be an important note for future researchers who will explore and review the causes that deviant behavior in the workplace has no significant effect on organizational performance and deviant behavior in the workplace mediates toxic leadership with organizational performance.
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Kepemimpinan telah menjadi topik utama ilmu organisasi sejak lahirnya bidang ini. Sebelumnya, para peneliti fokus pada bagaimana para pemimpin sukses meningkatkan kinerja organisasi dan meningkatkan efektivitas pengikut mereka. Banyak teori kepemimpinan positif tampaknya menganggap bahwa kepemimpinan disfungsional hanyalah ketiadaan atau kebalikan dari kepemimpinan yang efektif. Belakangan ini, gelombang skandal korporasi dan kegagalan spektakuler organisasi telah memaksa peneliti manajemen dan organisasi untuk berpikir ulang terkait dengan pendekatan tersebut. Para peneliti mulai mengeksplorasi gaya kepemimpinan negatif (dark side of leadership) secara langsung karena para peneliti berhipotesis bahwa gaya leadership ini memiliki konsekuensi negatif pada subordinat dan organisasi. Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk menguji pengaruh toxic leadership (TL) terhadap kinerja organisasi yang dimediasi oleh workplace deviant behavior (WDB) pegawai dengan sampel sebanyak 100 responden. Metode yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini ialah metode kuantitatif, berupa kuesioner. Hasil dari penelitian ini menunjukan bahwa: Toxic leadership berpengaruh signifikan terhadap kinerja organisasi yaitu dengan signifikansi lebih kecil dari 0,05. Toxic leadership berpengaruh signifikan terhadap workplace deviant behavior karyawan ditunjukkan dengan nilai signifikansi lebih kecil dari 0,05. Workplace deviant behavior berpengaruh tidak signifikan terhadap kinerja organisasi dengan signifikansi lebih kecil dari atau sama dengan 0,05. Workplace deviant behavior memediasi toxic leadership dengan kinerja organisasi dengan nilai pengaruh langsung sebesar 0,734 dan pengaruh tidak langsung sebesar 0,901, sehingga semua hipotesis diterima, akan menjadi catatan penting untuk peneliti selanjutnya untuk lebih menggali secara lebih lanjut dan menelaah kembali penyebab bahwa workplace deviant behavior berpengaruh tidak signifikan terhadap kinerja organisasi dan workplace deviant behavior memediasi toxic leadership dengan kinerja organisasi.
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Toxic leadership has existed in organizations, societies and nations and history is witness to all those leaders who have displayed toxic behaviors to fulfill personal needs. However, the concept of toxic leadership has not been given due importance in the whole gamut of leadership theories which exist. Toxic leadership not only impacts performance at the organizational level but also at the individual level. The aim of this paper is to understand the theory of Toxic Leadership and the behaviors exhibited by Toxic leaders. The paper also attempts to trace the origins of toxic behaviors and also to understand the reasons of toxicity and its impact on individual and organizational performance.
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The most commonly used method to test an indirect effect is to divide the estimate of the indirect effect by its standard error and compare the resulting z statistic with a critical value from the standard normal distribution. Confidence limits for the indirect effect are also typically based on critical values from the standard normal distribution. This article uses a simulation study to demonstrate that confidence limits are imbalanced because the distribution of the indirect effect is normal only in special cases. Two alternatives for improving the performance of confidence limits for the indirect effect are evaluated: (a) a method based on the distribution of the product of two normal random variables, and (b) resampling methods. In Study 1, confidence limits based on the distribution of the product are more accurate than methods based on an assumed normal distribution but confidence limits are still imbalanced. Study 2 demonstrates that more accurate confidence limits are obtained using resampling methods, with the bias-corrected bootstrap the best method overall.
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Adopting the strategic leadership perspective, we develop a theoretical model of the impact of CEO and top manager leadership styles and practices on organizational learning. We take a fine-grained look at the processes and levels of organizational learning to describe how strategic leaders influence each element of the learning system. Researchers have implicitly assumed transformational leadership approaches to organizational learning. We challenge this conventional wisdom by highlighting the value of transactional leadership as well.
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A Monte Carlo study compared 14 methods to test the statistical significance of the intervening variable effect. An intervening variable (mediator) transmits the effect of an independent variable to a dependent variable. The commonly used R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny (1986) approach has low statistical power. Two methods based on the distribution of the product and 2 difference-in-coefficients methods have the most accurate Type I error rates and greatest statistical power except in 1 important case in which Type I error rates are too high. The best balance of Type I error and statistical power across all cases is the test of the joint significance of the two effects comprising the intervening variable effect.
Over the past decade the 'dark side of leadership' has gained significant attention among researchers of various backgrounds. Exploring this 'dark side', Toxic leadership is identified as one of the most grave phenomenon that seen as an emerging and costly occurrence in organizations today. Toxicity in leaders is an underlined reality within organizations. The attitude and behaviour of the toxic leaders influence the mind of the subordinates. Toxic leadership is a combination of self-centred attitudes, motivations, and behaviours that have negative effects on subordinates and the organization. Toxic or destructive leadership can lead to serious problems for the workplace, employees, team and organisations. So it becomes the need of the day for individuals and organizations to set up a defence mechanism to counter the spread of toxicity. A non-empirical method was employed for the purpose of this study. A literature approach was used to define Toxic Leadership and Toxic Leader and to demonstrate the different behaviours and qualities of a Toxic Leader and the impact of this leader on followers and organization. Based on the previous studies, this paper has also given means to counter the toxic leaders.
The link between ethical leadership and employees' ethical behaviors is well established, but are ethical leadership's benefits confined to ethical behaviors? This study aimed to address this question by examining the extent to which ethical leaders create an environment conducive to cultivating a broader set of desirable behaviors such as group learning behavior. We drew upon and integrated insights from social learning theory and the social marketplace model to develop and test a model that illuminates how ethical leadership enhances group learning behavior. We propose that group ethical conduct, justice climate, and peer justice are three contextual mechanisms through which ethical leadership improves group learning. Using data collected over two time periods from 95 supervisors and 323 work group members from a large financial institution in the United States, we found that ethical leadership significantly relates to group learning behavior, and that this relationship is partially explained by group ethical conduct and peer justice, but not justice climate. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Communication scientists routinely ask questions about causal relationships. Whether it is examining the persuasive impact of public service announcements on attitudes and behavior, determining the impact of viewing political debates on political knowledge or voter turnout, or assessing whether success in achieving one's Internet browsing goals prompts greater interest in e-commerce, communication scholars frequently conduct research to answer questions about cause. Data analysis usually focuses on examining if the putative causal variable, whether manipulated or measured, is related to the outcome using a linear model such as analysis of variance or linear regression. In many arenas of research, such analyses, when accompanied by good research design, are sufficient to answer the question as to whether variation in X causes variation in Y. But deeper understanding accrues when researchers investigate the process by which a given effect is produced. Although it might be interesting and even important to discover, for mechanisms ...
This book draws from a foundation of positive psychology and recently emerging positive organizational behavior (POB). Its purpose is to introduce the untapped human resource capacity of psychological capital, or simply PsyCap. This PsyCap goes beyond traditionally recognized human and social capital and must meet the scientific criteria of theory, research, and valid measurement. To distinguish from other constructs in positive psychology and organizational behavior, to be included in PsyCap the resource capacity must also be 'state-like' and thus open to development (as opposed to momentary states or fixed traits) and have performance impact. The positive psychological resource capacities that meet these PsyCap criteria - efficacy (confidence), hope, optimism, and resilience - are covered in separate chapters. These four resource capacities are conceptually and empirically distinct, but also have underlying common processes for striving to succeed and when in combination contribute to a higher-order, core construct of psychological capital. Besides these four, other potential positive constructs such as creativity, wisdom, well being, flow, humor, gratitude, forgiveness, emotional intelligence, spirituality, authenticity, and courage are covered in Chapters 6 and 7. The concluding Chapter 8 summarizes and presents the research demonstrating the performance impact of PsyCap, the PsyCap questionnaire (PCQ) for measurement and the PsyCap Intervention (PCI) for development. Utility analysis indicates that investing in the development of PsyCap can result in a very substantial return. In total, this book provides the theory, research, measure, and method of application for the new resource of Psychological Capital that can be developed and sustained for competitive advantage.