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Linking Transformational and Despotic Leadership to Employee Engagement: Unfolding the Role of Psychological Distress as a Mediator

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Listed:
  • Xiangyu Song

    (College of Economics and Management, Guiyang University, Guiyang 550009, China)

  • Mishal Khosa

    (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok 06010, Kedah, Malaysia)

  • Zeeshan Ahmed

    (School of Business Management, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok 06010, Kedah, Malaysia)

  • Abdulaziz Fahmi Omar Faqera

    (School of Government, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok 06010, Kedah, Malaysia)

  • Nhat Tan Nguyen

    (Faculty of Business Administration, Ho Chi Minh City University of Foreign Languages—Information Technology, Ho Chi Minh City 70000, Vietnam)

  • Shafique Ur Rehman

    (ILMA University Business School, ILMA University, Main Ibrahim Hyderi Road, Korangi Creek, Karachi 75190, Pakistan)

  • Yueyong He

    (School of Management, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China)

Abstract

This research investigates the antecedents of employee engagement in Pakistan’s banks to conceptualize the idea of employee engagement. For this, the study examines the relationship between transformational leadership (TL), despotic leadership (DL), and the mediation of psychological distress (PD) with an outcome variable, employee engagement (EE). The study focused on first-line bank managers based in Punjab province using a cluster sampling technique. A questionnaire survey was used, and 341 respondents were selected for analysis using PLS-SEM. The study’s findings confirmed that all seven hypotheses tested were statistically significant. The results revealed that the transforming role of transformational leadership is more effective than despotic leadership in promoting employee engagement. The indirect link of psychological distress between transformational leadership, despotic leadership, and employee engagement also acts vice versa. The current study findings have implications for advancing our understanding of the effects of transformational leadership because of their positivity, which can reduce psychological distress and increase employee engagement in the service sector. In contrast, despotic leadership undermines employees’ abilities by increasing psychological distress and disengagement among employees. Our findings will help the banking industry understand how despotic and transformational leadership can negatively and positively affect employee outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiangyu Song & Mishal Khosa & Zeeshan Ahmed & Abdulaziz Fahmi Omar Faqera & Nhat Tan Nguyen & Shafique Ur Rehman & Yueyong He, 2022. "Linking Transformational and Despotic Leadership to Employee Engagement: Unfolding the Role of Psychological Distress as a Mediator," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(14), pages 1-21, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:14:y:2022:i:14:p:8851-:d:866594
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Xiang Zhou & Samma Faiz Rasool & Jing Yang & Muhammad Zaheer Asghar, 2021. "Exploring the Relationship between Despotic Leadership and Job Satisfaction: The Role of Self Efficacy and Leader–Member Exchange," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(10), pages 1-20, May.
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