sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Leadership, Toxic Workplace Environment and Organizational Sustainability in the Post-Pandemic Era

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Psychology of Sustainability and Sustainable Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 December 2022) | Viewed by 22978

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
Interests: strategic management; business management; human resource management; innovation management

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Management, Zhejiang University of Technology, Hangzhou 310023, China
Interests: CCM; KM; career sustainability; strategic human resource management (SHRM)
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Teacher Education, University of Helsinki, 00100 Helsinki, Finland
Interests: entrepreneurship education; leadership and management; educational psychology; emerging learning technologies; inclusive education; professional development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The COVID-19 pandemic has disturbed the normal operations of organizations across the globe, and the compounded uncertainty and complexity caused by COVID-19 has resulted in rising unemployment, disrupted working schedules, and societal unrest, making it the worst time many employees have ever experienced. While many organizations continue fighting for survival through cutting costs, downsizing and lay-offs, employee well-being is becoming a big challenge. Meanwhile, the concept of a toxic workplace environment, which refers to the cruel and often violent treatment that jeopardizes employee safety and health, has also drawn increasing attention. However, although the issues involving employee well-being and organizational sustainability have been highly discussed amid the pandemic, limited research has been conducted at the intersections of employee well-being, the toxic workplace environment, and organizational sustainability.

Moreover, at such a crucial time, leaders are believed to play a vital role in dealing with the crisis, especially when achieving sustainable development is deemed a global consensus. For instance, evidence indicates that during COVID-19, supportive leaders could motivate their subordinates and improve the well-being of their employees as they helped them to overcome psychological fears of the disease and social isolation. In contrast, despotic leaders may have created a toxic workplace environment for their subordinates during the COVID-19 pandemic because they prioritized work at the cost of employee health and happiness, and failed to reduce fear among employees about contracting the contagious Coronavirus in the workplace. As such, it seems particularly meaningful to more comprehensively investigate the role of different leadership styles and behaviors in affecting employee well-being and organizational sustainability, as well as in avoiding the formation of a toxic workplace environment in the post-pandemic era.

This Special Issue (SI) focuses on leadership toxic workplace environments and organizational sustainability in the post-pandemic era. Moreover, the published research will bridge the gap between the toxic workplace environment, employee well-being, and job satisfaction. We welcome papers with theoretical and empirical contributions that address important issues and challenges about business leaders and the intersections of the toxic workplace environment and sustainability at the individual, organizational, and industrial levels. Empirical research, literature review, case studies, and papers focusing on theoretical development as well as conceptual models are all welcome. This Special Issue (SI) therefore seeks novel insights, new knowledge, and encourages—but not necessarily limits—the scope to studies that explore, examine or theorize:

  • Leadership;
  • Supportive leadership;
  • Employees well-being;
  • Organizational sustainability;
  • Sustainable work performance;
  • COVID-19;
  • Despotic leadership;
  • Toxic workplace environment;
  • Workplace violence;
  • Job satisfaction; 
  • Employee turnover;
  • Workplace harassment;
  • Workplace bullying;
  • Employee engagement.

Dr. Samma Faiz Rasool
Prof. Dr. Tachia Chin
Dr. Muhammad Zaheer Asghar
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • leadership
  • supportive leadership
  • employees well-being
  • organizational sustainability
  • sustainable work performance
  • COVID-19
  • despotic leadership
  • toxic workplace environment
  • workplace violence
  • job satisfaction
  • employee turnover
  • workplace harassment
  • workplace bullying
  • employee engagement.

Published Papers (9 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

19 pages, 1080 KiB  
Article
Symmetrical and Asymmetrical Modeling: Applying Vitae Researchers’ Development Framework through the Lens of Web 2.0 Technologies for Vocational-Health Education Researchers
by Muhammad Zaheer Asghar, Javed Iqbal, Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen, Elena Barbera, Fatih Mutlu Ozbilen and Yasira Waqar
Sustainability 2023, 15(9), 7514; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15097514 - 04 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1174
Abstract
Background and Purpose: The development of research knowledge, skills, and attitudes among postgraduate vocational-health education students is a crucial outcome of their degree program. This study focuses on the research competences of vocational-health education students and their use of web 2.0 technologies to [...] Read more.
Background and Purpose: The development of research knowledge, skills, and attitudes among postgraduate vocational-health education students is a crucial outcome of their degree program. This study focuses on the research competences of vocational-health education students and their use of web 2.0 technologies to enhance research productivity. The study employs the Vitae Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and examines the use of web 2.0 technologies. Method: The study surveyed 390 postgraduate vocational-health education students enrolled in universities in Pakistan. Of the participants, 50.5% were male, 49.5% were female, 45.1% were from private universities, and 54.9% were from public sector universities. Moreover, 68.2% were Master’s students, while 31.8% were doctoral students. The data were analyzed through both symmetrical and asymmetrical modeling techniques, including Partial least square equation modeling (PLS-SEM) and fuzzy set Qualitative Comparative Analysis (fsQCA), to measure the direct and indirect specific relationships among the constructs. Results: The results confirmed that research competences and web 2.0 technologies have a direct effect on research productivity. Furthermore, the results revealed that web 2.0 technologies mediate in the relationship between research competences and research productivity. Conclusions: The study concludes that research competences and web 2.0 technologies predict research productivity. Additionally, web 2.0 technologies have an intervening role in the relationship between research competences and research productivity during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Implications: This study highlights the broader implications for health education policymakers and institutions to include web 2.0 technologies in their development plans. Future studies can develop web 2.0-based instructional strategies for the professional development of advanced vocational-health education researchers. Originality: This study contributes to the knowledge of research competences, web 2.0 technologies, and research productivity for vocational-health education researchers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 316 KiB  
Article
Sustaining Human Resources through Talent Management Strategies and Employee Engagement in the Middle East Hotel Industry
by Fida Hassanein and Hale Özgit
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15365; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215365 - 18 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4175
Abstract
This study aims to develop a deeper understanding on talent management strategies to encourage employee engagement in the tourism industry of the Middle East during and after COVID-19 and further to reveal the impacts of employee engagement on customer satisfaction. This study was [...] Read more.
This study aims to develop a deeper understanding on talent management strategies to encourage employee engagement in the tourism industry of the Middle East during and after COVID-19 and further to reveal the impacts of employee engagement on customer satisfaction. This study was conducted qualitatively, where open-ended questions were posed to 37 managers through semi-structured interviews. Managers in the human resource domain of numerous hotels across the Middle East located in countries such as Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the Sultanate of Oman participated in the study. The majority of Hotels had five-star ratings, and others four-star. The study themes were qualitatively developed from the data using inductive content analysis deployed in QSR NVivo. The results showed that by implementing appropriate talent management strategies, engagement and, consequently, job satisfaction of hotel staff could be enhanced. The COVID-19 pandemic showed that realistic targets must need be set for the effective retention of talented employees. The results imply that a lack of resources and investments in talent management strategies (e.g., reward system) can lead to the loss of talented employees. The overarching impact of talented employees is increased customer satisfaction as service quality is improved and interactions between staff and clients are enhanced. The results are beneficial for scholars as well as leaders in the hotel industry of the Middle Eastern region. Full article
21 pages, 576 KiB  
Article
The Influence of Paradoxical Leadership on Adaptive Performance of New-Generation Employees in the Post-Pandemic Era: The Role of Harmonious Work Passion and Core Self-Evaluation
by Naiwen Li and Mingming Ding
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 14647; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114647 - 07 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2841
Abstract
The post-pandemic era is full of instability and uncertainty, which brings new challenges and opportunities to the development of organization. As a sustainable feature of enterprises, improving employees’ adaptive performance levels is a necessary condition for enterprises to achieve the sustainable development goal. [...] Read more.
The post-pandemic era is full of instability and uncertainty, which brings new challenges and opportunities to the development of organization. As a sustainable feature of enterprises, improving employees’ adaptive performance levels is a necessary condition for enterprises to achieve the sustainable development goal. This study is based on self-determination theory, which focuses on new-generation employees as the key force of enterprise and incorporates harmonious work passion and core self-evaluation into the research framework to explore the influence of paradoxical leadership on adaptive performance. The survey data obtained from 519 new-generation employees shows that: paradoxical leadership is significantly and positively correlated with adaptive performance of new-generation employees; the relationship between paradoxical leadership and adaptive performance is partially mediated by harmonious work passion; core self-evaluation positively adjusts the relationship between paradoxical leadership and harmonious work passion. In addition, core self-evaluation also regulates the intermediary role of harmonious work passion—that is to say, the higher core self-evaluation of new-generation employees is, the stronger the intermediary role of harmonious work passion. The research results explain the connotation of how paradoxical leadership improves adaptive performance of new-generation employees, reveal the medium of the relationship between the two, and find both the role boundary of paradoxical leadership and the strategy to improve adaptive performance. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

28 pages, 1755 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of In-Service Vocational Teacher Training Program: A Blend of Face-to-Face, Online and Offline Learning Approaches
by Muhammad Zaheer Asghar, Muhammad Naeem Afzaal, Javed Iqbal, Yasira Waqar and Pirita Seitamaa-Hakkarainen
Sustainability 2022, 14(21), 13906; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142113906 - 26 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2574
Abstract
Teacher education has a large and favorable impact on a teacher’s performance. Effective training brings improvement in the productivity and performance of employees due to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission organized an in-service vocational [...] Read more.
Teacher education has a large and favorable impact on a teacher’s performance. Effective training brings improvement in the productivity and performance of employees due to the acquisition of new knowledge and skills. The National Vocational and Technical Training Commission organized an in-service vocational teachers’ training program through blended learning approaches in Pakistan. This study aimed at finding out the effectiveness of that in-service vocational teachers’ training program. The four levels of the Kirkpatrick model were used as the theoretical framework. A survey approach was used to collect data from 629 in-service vocational teachers who took part in the training program through blended learning approaches. Partial least square structural equation modeling was applied to find the hierarchal relationship among the four levels of the Kirkpatrick model. The results of the current research revealed that trainees were satisfied at all four levels of the Kirkpatrick model, including the reaction, learning, behavior and results. A hierarchal relationship between the four levels of the Kirkpatrick model was also found for the evaluation of the training program. The direct effect of the reaction had a positive and significant relationship with learning, learning with behavior and behavior with the results. The results of the specific indirect relationship among the four levels clearly depicted that behavior was mediated through learning and the results, learning was mediated through the reaction and behavior and behavior was mediated through the reaction and results. This study is useful for vocational education institutions and skill development policymakers to design in-service training programs for in-service teachers. Future studies can be conducted about the adaptation of instructions for the in-service vocational teachers’ training program through blended learning approaches. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 769 KiB  
Article
How Does the Paradoxical Leadership of Cross-Border e-Commerce (CBEC) Gig Workers Influence Chinese Company Performance: The Role of Psychological Well-Being
by Chunyan Li, Chien-Liang Lin and Tachia Chin
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912307 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2195
Abstract
Cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) has attracted interest in the global marketplace. Meanwhile, CBEC gig workers have changed CBEC enterprises’ business models, eliminated outdated enterprises, and reset organizational structures. Consequently, CBEC enterprises must adopt new approaches to promote company performance (CP). However, in Chinese CBEC [...] Read more.
Cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) has attracted interest in the global marketplace. Meanwhile, CBEC gig workers have changed CBEC enterprises’ business models, eliminated outdated enterprises, and reset organizational structures. Consequently, CBEC enterprises must adopt new approaches to promote company performance (CP). However, in Chinese CBEC companies, the psychological well-being (PW) of gig workers is largely ignored. Although some enterprises have paid attention to this problem, the leadership is often not in line with the psychological reality of gig work. Moreover, few studies have focused on the impact of paradoxical leadership (PL) on gig workers’ PW in the CBEC industry. Therefore, this study investigates the link between gig workers’ PW and organizational performance under PL based on survey data from CBEC enterprises in China. Data were collected from a survey of 346 employees of CBEC enterprises in China. Results showed that PL exerts a significant positive impact on CP. The PW of Chinese CBEC gig workers positively mediates the relationship between PL and CP. Under different dynamic environmental conditions, CBEC enterprises in China should adopt appropriate leadership methods to improve their performance. This study provides new theoretical and practical perspectives for understanding the management of gigs in Chinese CBEC companies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 407 KiB  
Article
Abusive Supervision and Turnover Intentions: A Mediation-Moderation Perspective
by Shahab Ali, Pu Yongjian, Farrukh Shahzad, Iftikhar Hussain, Dawei Zhang, Zeeshan Fareed, Filza Hameed and Chunlei Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10626; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710626 - 26 Aug 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1878
Abstract
This study intended to provide and test a unique model describing how abusive supervision increases workers’ turnover intentions, with a mediating role of emotional exhaustion and moderating role of self-esteem. We argued that emotional exhaustion exacerbates the association between abusive supervision and turnover [...] Read more.
This study intended to provide and test a unique model describing how abusive supervision increases workers’ turnover intentions, with a mediating role of emotional exhaustion and moderating role of self-esteem. We argued that emotional exhaustion exacerbates the association between abusive supervision and turnover intentions of the workers, while self-esteem buffers this relationship, based on the unfolding model of voluntary turnover as an overarching theory. The study design reflected that abusive supervision and turnover intentions are mediated by emotional exhaustion, while the relationship between abusive supervision and emotional exhaustion is further moderated by self-esteem. A well-structured and self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 290 respondents. The data were analyzed, and hypotheses were tested using PLS-SEM. The study findings confirmed that there exists a positive and significant link between abusive supervision and turnover intentions through the indirect effect of emotional exhaustion. On the other hand, the findings regarding moderating effect indicates that self-esteem has a significant impact among abusive supervision and emotional exhaustion. This research identified a feasible way for supervisors to grasp how diverse the responses of various workers may be using the unfolding model. These research findings have important academic and practical implications for government representatives, policymakers, and entrepreneurial educational institutes that can use these findings. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 629 KiB  
Article
Abusive Supervision Impact on Employees’ Creativity: A Mediated-Moderated Perspective
by Iftikhar Hussain, Shahab Ali, Farrukh Shahzad, Muhammad Irfan, Yong Wan, Zeeshan Fareed and Li Sun
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8648; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148648 - 14 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1736
Abstract
The drive for the current study was to describe the findings carried out to understand abusive supervision and employees’ creativity in business organizations. This research investigated the effect of abusive supervision on employees’ creativity. The influence of employment insecurity as a mediating variable [...] Read more.
The drive for the current study was to describe the findings carried out to understand abusive supervision and employees’ creativity in business organizations. This research investigated the effect of abusive supervision on employees’ creativity. The influence of employment insecurity as a mediating variable and the moderating role of locus of control has also been examined. The study was based on Hobfoll’s conservation of resources theory. The data were collected using a self-administered questionnaire from 500 employees working in different business organizations in Pakistan. To analyze the data, the study employed path analytic approaches using multilevel modeling in Mplus 7.1. The empirical analysis has confirmed that abusive supervision and employment insecurity have a significant negative impact on employees’ creativity. Employment infectivity partially mediates the effect of abusive supervision on employees’ creativity. Moderation analysis was performed and established that the locus of control moderates the effect of abusive supervision on employment insecurity as well as the effect of employment insecurity on employees’ creativity. The current research has contributed towards developing a better understanding of the studied variables, i.e., abusive supervision, employment insecurity, locus of control, and employees’ creativity. To the best of authors’ knowledge these variables have been studied together here for the first time. The study also forwarded practical recommendations for managers and entrepreneurs. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 1200 KiB  
Article
How Supportive Leadership Promotes Employee Innovation under Uncertainty: Evidence from Chinese E-Commerce Industry
by Yan Wang, Tachia Chin, Francesco Caputo and Hanfeng Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127491 - 20 Jun 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2592
Abstract
Innovative behavior (IB) is an important issue in academic and other sectors. The increasing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has resulted in rising job insecurity for employees in the e-commerce industry. This has jeopardized career sustainability (CS). Numerous studies have explored the influence of [...] Read more.
Innovative behavior (IB) is an important issue in academic and other sectors. The increasing uncertainty caused by COVID-19 has resulted in rising job insecurity for employees in the e-commerce industry. This has jeopardized career sustainability (CS). Numerous studies have explored the influence of supportive leadership (SL) on IB, but so far there is still a dearth of research investigating the role of CS. In addition, CS must be considered because the perceived sustainability of a career has an impact on individual innovation. Therefore, based on job demands-resources (JDR) theory, we analyzed the effects of SL on IB as well as the roles of CS in IB. The mediating role of employee’s perceived occupational sustainability was explored. This study investigates the associations between supportive leadership style (job resource) and employee innovative behavior (job demand). In total, 308 valid samples were collected from China. Structural equation modeling examines the construct validity and path relationships. The results show that in China’s e-commerce industry, under the uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, only when employees perceive CS can SL promote the transformation of job resources into workplace IB. That is, CS completely mediates SL and IB. This provides new information for the management of employee behavior in the current special period. The result revealed that SL improves IB through CS. Theoretically, this study fills the gap and establishes a theoretical framework for SL and IB. Practically, we offer guidance for enterprises and managers in that they should provide their employees with work resources which are good for employee CS so as to promote employees’ IB. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 717 KiB  
Article
Relationship beyond the Workplace: Impact of Guanxi GRX Scale on Employee Engagement and Performance
by Moses Agyemang Ameyaw, Binghai Sun, Samuel Antwi, Geoffrey Bentum-Micah and Jonathan Edmund Ameyaw
Sustainability 2022, 14(12), 7364; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14127364 - 16 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1917
Abstract
The primary objective of this research was to find out the impact of GRX scale (ganqing, renqing, and xinren) on a non-Chinese working environment. Thus, to apply and ascertain the effect of the three dimensions of guanxi on employees’ engagement and, eventually, their [...] Read more.
The primary objective of this research was to find out the impact of GRX scale (ganqing, renqing, and xinren) on a non-Chinese working environment. Thus, to apply and ascertain the effect of the three dimensions of guanxi on employees’ engagement and, eventually, their job performance in an African working environment. This research used social exchange theory to explain the relationship between supervisors and their subordinates. The research data comprises 530 respondents who were randomly chosen from seven organizations. Smart-PLS 3.2.8 was the primary instrument used to analyze the data. The finding indicated that renqing, synonymous with mutual sharing or need for reciprocity, was highly significant with employee engagement and job performance. Hence, a win-win outcome is achieved whenever employers exhibit genuine concern and care for their employees. Additionally, there was a negative relationship between ganqing (emotional attachment) and employee engagement. This revealed that making decisions based on personal relationships will negatively affect employees’ engagement and job performance. This research adds to the literature by revealing that guanxi is applicable in non-Chinese workplaces. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop