I just need a summary for this chapter please.
Dr. Frank, I just need a summary for this chapter please.
CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW To understand nontoxic leadership and how to avoid toxic leadership better, the researcher conducted a comprehensive literature review. This chapter includes the search strategy and theoretical foundation from which the researcher sourced and analyzed literature. The chapter also includes discussions on the most relevant literature, divided into the following subsections: the concept of leadership defined, toxic leadership characteristics and role of leadership in creating a positive work environment, characteristics of positive work environment, benefits of a positive work environment, work environment and employee motivation, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. The chapter ends with a summary of the main points, key findings, and any gaps in the literature. Literature Search Strategy For this study, a search for various sources published within the last five years and older sources that were integral to understanding reentry, reintegration, and the family support system. To gather relevant literature for this review, the researcher searched databases such as EBSCOhost, ERIC, JSTOR, ResearchGate, ScienceDirect, and Google Scholar. The extant literature using the Apollos University online Library was located using the following keywords: toxic leadership, nontoxic/positive leadership, leadership behavior, influence, leadership style, toxic workplace/work environment, toxic/complicit followers, toxic triangle, worker well-being, and coping with a toxic work environment. Nearly 90 percent of the sources were published between 2017 and 2021 to ensure current sources are used. Theoretical Framework The researcher used Alvarado’s (2016) triangular model of workplace toxicity for the conceptual framework. Alvarado posited this three-part model to explain the associations between toxic work environments, toxic subordinates, and toxic leadership. Fraher (2016) specified this model as the toxic triangle, and Alvarado (2016) developed a scale associated with this model to measure workplace toxicity. The author classified this scale as the Work Environment Scale of Toxicity (AWEST). To contribute qualitative evidence to the development of the AWEST, Alvarado (2016) surveyed 280 participants who worked in a physical workspace for over two years. Alvarado depicted four factors that contributed to the toxicity of the workplace: perceived threat, favoritism, bullying, and overall organizational climate. By analyzing the surveyed participant’s answers, Alvarado uncovered what factors influenced toxicity and then used these factors to refine the AWEST. As Alvarado (2016) explained, the triangular toxicity model accounted for the complexities that contributed to destructive leadership. The researcher used this model to construct a perspective to demystify why if a single action was taken, such as replacing an abusive leader, firing employees with attitude problems, or fixing detrimental aspects of company culture, toxicity might remain in the workplace. Using Alvarado’s (2016) findings, the researcher examined all four components of the triangular model when toxicity in the workplace was identified. A toxic work environment is characteristic of adverse experiences that poorly affect employees (Anjum et al., 2018). According to Anjum et al. (2018), toxic behaviors in the workplace can result in added expenses, overall lower company spirit, low retention rates, poor work-life balance, worsening health, frequent callouts, and lower productivity. Participants provided information about their experiences with resolving the state of toxic workplace environments while also providing input about their past experiences aside from the current environment in which they work, which was also discussed. The researcher used AWEST to 9 examine how the leadership component influenced the toxicity of the work environment and subordinate employees. The researcher studied how positive leadership could lead to lowering instances of toxicity to determine potential alternatives to toxic leadership styles and behaviors. Review of Key Themes and Constructs Concept of Leadership Defined Leadership is the ability of an individual or a group of individuals to influence and guide followers or other members of an organization (Al Khajeh, 2018). Human resources can have a competitive advantage if managed effectively in the dynamic global environment. Arguably, organizations must manage their employees effectively by applying different leadership styles that support employee motivation in boosting staff performance. For instance, Al Khajeh (2018) proposed that leaders need a diverse mix of competencies that incorporate the management board and junior staff in meeting the overwhelming products awareness and marketing strategies of the 21st century. However, the current findings supported by Al Khajeh (2018) indicate that existing literature has limited information on how leadership styles affect employee performance. An autocratic leadership, also called authoritative leadership as defined by Al Khajeh et al. (2018), is a type of leadership where a single leader takes up the authority of leading and does not concern himself with the group’s ideas. Al Khajeh et al. (2018) found that autocratic leaders make decisions faster as they limit consultations before deciding. Employees, therefore, have maximum time to complete tasks on time, improving overall performance. Equally, Al Khajeh et al. (2018) established that autocratic leadership improves overall communication within the organization. Their command is received directly by workers eliminating unnecessary message distortion by involving various departments. In addition, the minimum time is used to disseminate important information, thus creating extra time to complete technical tasks. The above evidence strongly suggests that autocratic leaders make decisions faster and improve overall communication, facilitating a fast flow of instruction and efficient working (Al Khajeh et al., 2018). Lee et al. (2019) studied the relationship between authentic leadership and nurses’ intent to leave the mediating role of the work environment and burnout. This study aimed to explore the mediating effects of work environment and burnout on the relationship between authentic leadership and the intention of nurses to leave their job. The researchers concluded that leadership plays an essential role in creating a positive working environment for employees to improve job satisfaction (Labrague et al., 2020). Labrague et al. (2020) studied the influence of harmful and transformational leadership practices on nurses’ job satisfaction, job stress, absenteeism, and turnover intention: a cross‐sectional study. The findings showed that leadership plays an essential role in influencing retention strategies, including transformational leadership, and derailing toxic leadership practices in nurse managers through evidence-based education, training, and professional development in the workplaces. Toxic Leadership Characteristics and The Role of Leadership Leadership plays an essential role in creating a positive workplace. For instance, Bakkal et al. (2019) investigated the effect of toxic leadership on job satisfaction and turnover intention as well as to understand if job satisfaction of nurses and hospital employees has a mediating effect between toxic leadership perceptions (self-seeking, negative state of mind, selfishness, in appreciativeness) and turnover intention. Leaders need to fight toxic leadership in their organizations to create a positive work environment. Singh et al. (2018) addressed the paucities and clarified the nature, process, reasons, and consequences of “toxic” leadership. The authors review, summarize and integrate the existing literature on toxic leadership to draw nomological distinctions amongst different dark leadership constructs and eventually present stimulators and behavioral symptoms of toxic leadership. Abbas and Saad (2020) highlighted the impact of toxic leadership behavior on workplace climate with the mediation of workplace harassment (WPH) in the textile industry of Pakistan. This research shows that toxic leadership behavior has a strong negative impact on workplace climate, resulting in a low degree of employee performance, lack of motivation, and absenteeism, which affect employee retention. Kurtulmuş (2020) explored how, under toxic leadership, workplace bullying victims struggle and engage in coping strategies to reduce stress-related health and mental problems and the role of followers in this process, if there are any. Kurtulmuş (2020) found that toxic leadership practices may also cause an increase in workplace bullying behaviors among followers, and they play an essential role in this relationship, leading to attrition and burnout. Abbas and Saad (2020) investigated the impact of toxic leadership behavior on workplace climate with the mediation of workplace harassment (WPH) in the textile industry of Pakistan. Abbas and Saad (2020) found that toxic leadership behavior has a strong negative impact on workplace climate, resulting in low employee performance, lack of motivation, and absenteeism, which affect employee retention. Matos et al. (2018) investigated toxic leadership and the masculinity contest culture. Matos et al. (2018) found that toxic cultures retain employees despite largely detrimental effects on job attitudes and well-being, including burnout. Previous studies showed a positive relationship between leadership and practical commitment among employees. The study of Al-Madi et al. (2017), targeting 215 employees in the United States, established the relationship between ethical leadership behaviors and affective commitment among employees mediated by organizational support and economic rewards. The investigators used a face-to-face survey to collect data from participants using survey instruments. After conducting the analysis, Al-Madi et al. (2017) found that ethical leadership behaviors such as respect, feedback, and communication influenced employees’ connection to the organization. According to the findings, leaders who used different ethical behavior practices, such as showing care to employees, increased their emotional attachment to the organizations, resulting in high affective commitment (Al-Madi et al., 2017). Brouwers and Paltu (2020) conducted a similar study to investigate the relationship between ethical leadership behavior practices and affective commitment in the United States. A sample of 215 employees was recruited from the telecommunication industry to participate in the study. Data collection was done through survey instruments, including the affective employee commitment and perceived organizational scales. Multiple regression analysis using SPSS software was used to conduct the analysis. The study results showed that ethical leadership behaviors played by leaders, such as promoting respect and showing concern to employees, increased employees’ emotional attachment to the organization (Brouwers & Paltu, 2020). According to the findings, employees whose leaders respect them, are transparent, hold high integrity levels, feel attracted to them, and develop a strong emotional attachment to the organization, a practical commitment (Akca, 2017). The literature above reveals that ethical leadership behaviors characterized by care, trust, transparency, and employee development influence employees to develop strong emotional attachments to the organizations, commonly known as affective commitment. Traits of a Toxic Leader Lack of moral philosophical ethics/narcissism is a toxic leadership trait that could decrease employee retention. For instance, Baloyi (2020) proposed exploring the effects of toxic leadership in the workplace using qualitative methods. Baloyi (2020) established traits of leaders include a lack of respect for their colleagues, juniors, and subordinate employees, does not accept consequences of their own decisions, being unfair, displaying an illegitimate sense of entitlement, being self-absorbed, projecting beliefs of entitlement, and superiority, entitlement in administration, lack of empathy and projects negative traits onto others. In addition, toxic narcissistic leaders are likely to violate administrative law policies and procedures (Baloyi, 2020). Similarly, Milosevic conducted a qualitative study to explore the effects of toxic leaders in organizations using a sample of 24 participants. Data was collected through interviews. After data analysis, the findings showed narcissist leaders might be charming and engaging, but below the surface, these leaders are exploitative and quite ruthless (Milosevic et al., 2020). Narcissist leaders are perceived as highly competent and calculative, so they can influence others to pursue goals that are destructive to the organizations (Milosevic et al., 2020). Using quantitative methods, Saleem et al. (2021) intended to explore the relationship between toxic narcissist leaders and organizational commitment. Two hundred nineteen participants participated in the research, and data was collected through questionnaire surveys. Linear regression analysis and process Macro by Hayes data analysis techniques were used to analyze data. According to research findings, narcissist toxic leaders showed toxic traits of taking credit for the achievements of other employees without appreciating them, which may violate their rights and create a stressful and untrustworthy working environment (Saleem et al., 2021). Narcissists may use abusive and authoritative supervision, and they change their mood while dealing with their subordinates and are rarely interested in listening to their requirements, problems, and suggestions (Saleem et al., 2021). The toxic traits of the leaders make them focus on only promoting themselves, are selfish in sharing ideas, and do not care about other employees (Saleem et al., 2021). Muaaz and Khurram (2020) explored the consequences of having toxic leaders in organizations using quantitative methods. Three hundred ninety-three participants participated in the research, and data was collected through questionnaires. The structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used in data analysis. Muaaz and Khurram (2020) found that leaders with toxic behaviors could create a toxic environment for their subordinates either intentionally or unintentionally, resulting in decreased performance or increased turnover rates of employees. Narcissistic leaders are not concerned about their staff’s mental health and well-being and are perceived as arrogant, selfish, inflexible, and bullies (Muaaz & Khurram, 2020). Blair et al. (2017) proposed exploring the effects of narcissism traits on employees’ performance using qualitative methods and a sample of 162 participants. Narcissistic leaders made communication one way they deliberately ignored and isolated team members, reacted defensively when criticized, and refused to justify their decisions (Blair et al., 2017). In addition, the toxic undermined the authority expressed over them by being strict and oppressive regardless of rank, conducting themselves in a self-authoritarian manner, showed insensitivity by isolating themselves from their peers and not caring about the issues and welfare of the employees (Blair et al., 2017). Autocratic/Authoritarian leadership has been identified as another trait of a toxic leader. Omar and Ahmad (2018) pioneered a study to investigate the role of toxic leadership style on job satisfaction using qualitative methods. Data were collected from 200 participants. Omar and Ahmad (2018) established that leaders possessed toxic authoritarian traits. They did not want any opinion other than their own to be heard and were self-centered, egotistical, and abused power by promoting their image. In addition, autocratic leaders may over-control the subordinate staff by outlining what needs to be accomplished, when it should be accomplished, and how it should be done (Omar and Ahmad, 2018). Maladaptive was another toxic trait found in leaders. They show socially incompetent behaviors such as seeking unnecessary attention, a parasitic lifestyle, poor behavioral controls, and a lack of realistic plans for the future of organizations (Omar and Ahmad, 2018). Abbas and Saad (2020) conducted a quantitative study to explore the effects of autocratic traits of leaders on work performed using a sample of 351 participants. Data was collected through structured questionnaires. The findings showed that authoritarianism’s toxic traits include self-centeredness, superiority and egoistic attitude, abusive supervision, self-promotion, narcissism, and workplace harassment associated with bullying and emotional abuse of employees (Abbas & Saad, 2020). In addition, the negative traits negatively impact employee engagement and performance, and autocratic toxic leaders have egoistic personalities where they take credit for their teams’ efforts (Abbas & Saad, 2020). Aravena (2019) conducted a qualitative study to investigate the relationship between leadership incompetency and employee retention. A total of 207 participants were interviewed. The use of open-ended questionnaires collected data. The results revealed that lack of strategic skills was associated with making poor decisions without data, focusing on administrative tasks rather than leadership for learning tasks, inability to create professional discussions, failure of vision, and lack of emotional intelligence (Aravena, 2019). Incompetency was associated with the inability to create teams and recognize employees’ potential, needs, and weaknesses (Aravena, 2019). Autocratic Leadership was linked with poor communication, over control, abuse of power, and toxic leaders being the center of attention (Aravena, 2019). Burns (2017) intended to investigate the impact of poor leadership styles on organizations by doing a literature review using two articles. Burns (2017) established incompetent leaders had the following toxic traits careless ridicule of employees and customers, angry tantrums, rudeness, favoritism, and non-contingent punishment. Also, they were concerned with gaining and maintaining control through ways that create fear and intimidation in employees. In addition, incompetent leaders exhibit other traits such as bullying through harassment and socially excluding employees, which may affect them in effectively executing their work tasks and cause stress and mental health problems among employees (Burns, 2017). In addition, arrogant, boastful, rigid, and inflexible traits were other traits found in toxic leaders (Burns, 2017). Previous studies have shown that discrimination is another toxic trait of toxic leaders. Singh et al. (2017) intended to explore the effects of discrimination by leaders in a workplace using quantitative methods. Data were collected from 150 participants using questionnaires, and a regression analysis technique was used to analyze data. Singh et al. (2017) found that toxic leaders showed discrimination traits in the gender education level of subordinates as subordinates with higher education levels were favored more by leaders, and subordinates with low education levels received discrimination from toxic leaders, which affected communication relationships. In addition, male employees received more extrinsic rewards than females (Singh et al., 2017). In another study, Erden and Otken (2019) conducted a quantitative study exploring the association between paternalistic leadership and employee discrimination. Data were collected from 183 participants. The findings showed that discrimination was common among human resource leaders, especially during recruitment, hiring, promotion, assignments delegation, evaluation, payment, rewards, and training among subordinates (Erden & Otken 2019). In addition, nepotism was also practiced in hiring processes (Erden & Otken 2019). Lack of honesty, integrity, and irritate leaders are toxic traits that may lead to decreased retention and high turnover rates. Akca (2017), exploring 291 participants, purposed to determine the effects of angry leaders and employee retention using a qualitative method. Data was collected through questionnaires, and the regression analyses technique was applied to data analysis. After data analysis, the participants reported that leaders had toxic traits in the workplace, resulting in decreased retention (Akca, 2017). The toxic traits included disrespect, not being recognized for their excellent work, lack of integrity, failure to give ongoing feedback as part of the manager-employee relationship, narcissism, and abusive supervision (Akca, 2017). Brouwers and Paltu (2020) proposed investigating the impact of toxic leaders on job satisfaction in organizations using qualitative methods and a sample of 600 employees. Brouwers and Paltu (2020) state that toxic leadership, such as authoritarian leadership, abusive supervision, and dishonesty, had adverse outcomes on organizations such as decreased performance, higher turnover intention, and decreased commitment of employees. As evidenced by the above data analysis, toxic traits of leaders include narcissism, lack of competency, lack of integrity and honesty, lack of philosophical ethics, autocratic, discrimination, and irritant toxic traits. The identified toxic traits negatively affect organizations, such as decreased retention, high turnover, decreased performance, low productivity, and decreased commitment and engagement. In addition, the negative traits may also have adverse outcomes on employees, including stress, anxiety, mental health problems, and high levels of burnout. Strategies for Addressing Toxic Leadership in Organizations Training both toxic leaders and employees is a strategy likely to address toxic leadership in organizations. Burns (2017) conducted a qualitative study exploring measures to eliminate toxic leadership in organizations. Burns (2017) found that leaders should be trained in interpersonal relationship skills to treat their subordinates as it helps shape their subordinates’ perceptions of interactional justice and reactions. Organizations should provide self-awareness and self-management training for leaders at all levels and set standards for accountability (Burns, 2017). Training may promote fairness in employees, especially subordinates (Burns, 2017). In another study, Milosevic et al. (2020) proposed investigating ways to eliminate toxic leadership using qualitative methods. Twenty-four participants participated in the research, and data was collected through interviews. After analyzing data, Milosevic et al. (2020) found that employees/subordinates need to train and learn strategies to help them stand up to toxic leaders and minimize their impact. In addition, employees’ understanding of workplace laws helped them know their rights, which may prevent them from toxic leadership within organizations (Milosevic et al., 2020). Baloyi (2020) intended to explore mechanisms of overcoming toxic leadership using qualitative methods. The findings revealed that toxic leaders should have thorough training to learn to lead ethically, effectively, efficiently, and innovatively (Baloyi, 2020). In addition, leadership positions require training on ethics and morals, which may help leaders have the best interests of their employees and organizations. It may result in improved performance and increased engagement (Baloyi (2020). Leary and Ashman (2018), exploring 34 participants, investigated strategies for addressing narcissistic leadership in organizations in a male-dominated sector. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews and a multifactor leadership questionnaire (MLQ). Leary and Ashman (2018) established that higher education, training, learning about work laws, mentoring, and understanding women’s barriers in many male-dominated career fields might help female employees overcome toxic discriminatory leadership in organizations. De-hierarchization may address the challenge of toxic leadership in organizations and is discussed in the next paragraph as a strategy for eliminating toxic leadership. De-hierarchization may address the challenge of toxic leadership in organizations. Ghiasipour et al. (2017) pioneered a study to investigate tactics that can be used to reduce toxic leadership using qualitative methods and a sample of 27 participants. Data were collected using semi-structured, in-depth interviews. After data analysis, the participants reported that organizational structure had formal and informal communication patterns, and leaders were misusing their powers which made communication difficult between leaders and employees (Ghiasipour et al., 2017). Ghiasipour et al. (2017) also found that self-controlling hierarchies, management rotation, transparent organizational structures with mutual control, and dialogue without fear, more employee participation might help eliminate toxic leadership in organizations. Dehghanan et al. (2021), through a systematic review using 59 articles, investigated the relationship between de-hierarchization and toxic leadership change. Dehghanan et al. (2021) established that for organizations to have transparency, positive leadership styles, and success, toxic leaders should undergo training, behavioral change, and introduce a new organizational culture with revised policies and laws. It was also revealed that leaders should undergo a thorough evaluation to ensure they have the competencies, skills, and education to take leadership positions (Dehghanan et al., 2021). Creating a positive organizational culture as a strategy for addressing toxic leadership is discussed in the next paragraph. Creating a positive organizational culture with corrective mechanisms may help organizations overcome toxic leadership using qualitative methods. Warrick (2017) explored how positive organizational culture may help eliminate toxic leadership. Organizations should hire competent leaders who embrace positive cultures and take responsibility for their actions, such as decision-making. Leaders influence culture through their strategies, practices, values, leadership style, and example. They should create strategies that achieve the desired results or goals while also creating a great and supportive workplace. Creating positive strategies may result in a positive, healthy culture in organizations and create a sense of belonging. Educating employees on the organization’s cultural ideals helps foster communication and builds a strong culture. Van and Fine (2018) conducted a qualitative study to investigate the process of creating a new work culture that eliminates toxic leadership. Van and Fine (2018) found that information does not flow the right way when there is toxic leadership as a centralized hierarchy means that lower-level employees have challenges with their voices being heard at higher levels. The researchers also reported that some hierarchical organizational structures make it harder for employees or executives to speak out and resist toxic practices that break the law. According to Van and Fine (2018), the best way to address the toxic structures of organizations is by first addressing top toxic leaders through replacement, punishment, and accountability. Replacing the top toxic leaders ensures that the new leaders who clean up toxic cultures will be competent, honest, and responsible (Van & Fine, 2018). Additionally, managers and employees with toxic values and practices should also be replaced as this creates psychological safety by showing staff that changes are feasible and learnable (Van & Fine, 2018). Hoppe (2021) proposed exploring strategies for addressing toxic leadership using qualitative methods. Hoppe (2021) found that developing positive organizational culture and leadership practices may help create a positive job-related identity for employees as it entails transparency. All organization employees and managers know what is going on within the organization, the organization’s values, and realistic targets and goals (Hoppe, 2021). In addition, effective communication should be implemented as good communication focuses on listening-understanding-discussing-compromising-deciding-acting as a team. With effective communication, suggestions for improvement are possible; a supportive working environment creates a sense of belonging, and feedback on problems is acted on immediately (Hoppe, 2021). Finally, previous researchers identify implementing an excellent organizational culture that emphasizes feedback as a strategy for addressing toxic leadership. Implementing an excellent organizational culture that emphasizes feedback is identified by previous researchers as a strategy for addressing toxic leadership. Muaaz and Khurram (2020) proposed exploring effective strategies to address toxic leadership in organizations using quantitative methods. A total of 393 participants participated in the research, and data was collected through structured questionnaires. The structural equation modeling (SEM) technique was used in data analysis. According to the findings, anonymous feedback by employees regarding the behavior of toxic leaders might help identify toxic leaders and the necessary steps taken to reduce their negative impact on employees and the work environment (Muaaz & Khurram, 2020). Organizations should take actions that predict and control the deviant behaviors of toxic leaders by setting up monitoring systems for detecting and intervening in existing toxic leadership (Muaaz & Khurram, 2020). According to, Muaaz and Khurram (2020) human resource feedback systems play a significant role in tackling toxic leadership in the workplace and identifying reasons for decreased performance by employees. Kasalak (2019) conducted a qualitative study to explore the impact of toxic leadership on organizations and strategies for eliminating toxic leadership. A sample of 707 participants was interviewed, and data were collected through questionnaires. The findings showed that toxic leadership that gives no value to subordinates’ issues and opinions, communication issues, and undermines their hard work might cause high employee turnovers in organizations. According to Kasalak (2019), human resource needs to address the issue of high turnover and decreased performance by listening to subordinates’ opinions and grievances and giving feedback immediately. By doing investigations and giving feedback, human resources can address the issue of toxic leadership by replacing them and holding them accountable for their toxic traits (Kasalak, 2019). Overall, the articles reviewed suggest that strategies for addressing toxic leadership in organizations are important because negative leadership may negatively affect those they lead and the organization. Toxic leadership may result in decreased engagement, high turnover rates, decreased retention, low performance, and decreased productivity, leading to low work output. The negative effects may lead to loss of customers for organizations and a negative image of organizations. This prompts organizations to address the negative leadership by replacing all the toxic leaders and employees and implementing new policies and cultures. Implementing new cultures and policies ensures that all employees, managers, and leaders are involved in decision-making, and each individual’s grievances and opinions are heard. This may create a sense of belonging and increase all employees’ engagement, performance, and improved well-being. Characteristics of Positive Work Environment A positive work environment has various characteristics that are effective workspaces for employees (Viotti et al., 2020). For instance, Viotti et al. (2020) discussed different characteristics of a positive work environment, which will be used in this study to analyze the different features of a positive work environment. Backhaus also discussed Work environment characteristics associated with quality, which applied to the current study. Lee and Scott (2018) investigated hospital nurses’ work environment characteristics and patient safety outcomes, which apply to the current study. Researchers identified support and absence of aggression are key features of a positive work environment. A positive work environment supports and empowers employees. For instance, Zutavern and Seifried (2021) conducted a study exploring the relationship between a positive environment and the growth of employees using qualitative research methods. A sample of 89 participants was interviewed. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, and a qualitative content analysis technique was used to analyze the data. The results showed that employees benefited more from informal learning opportunities, which helped in skill development through sharing experiences and receiving support from colleagues, which may lead to increased commitment (Zutavern & Seifried, 2021). In addition, a supportive work environment creates a positive relationship of employees’ perception of the work environment. In addition, it creates a positive relationship between employees and employers, resulting in increased retention (Zutavern & Seifried, 2021). Hardiyanto et al. (2019) investigated the impact of a positive environment on employees using quantitative methods and a sample of 65 participants. The use of questionnaires collected data, and multiple linear regression analysis methods were used in data analysis. Hardiyanto et al. (2019) established that a positive relationship between leaders and employees created by helping each other with work in different divisions leads to motivation and support, which results in job satisfaction. Furthermore, a conducive work environment creates a sense of comfort and sense of belonging and creates more harmonious relationships. Physical needs may include good lighting systems, a noise-free environment, and adequate working resources and work facilities. In contrast, psychological needs include well-being, positive mental health, realistic and diverse organizational policies, and organizational cultures. Another study proposed investigating the link between employee empowerment and organizational commitment through qualitative methods. Ninety-seven participants participated in the study, and data were collected through questionnaires. Data collected were analyzed using statistical tests, i.e., Cronbach’s alpha reliability, Pearson correlation, and Simple Linear Regression using SPSS 20.0. After data analysis, the results showed that a strong positive relationship between colleagues and leaders was the major motivating factor that increased commitment. In addition, competitive salary rates, training, recognition, and rewards were other factors that motivated employees in organizational commitment. Engagement of human resources in employees’ welfare may create a positive working environment. Shahreki (2019) pioneered a study exploring the relationship between human resources and employee productivity through qualitative methods and a sample of 187 human resource managers. The partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM) technique was used. Shahreki (2019) found that human resource information systems may help human resource managers develop strategies that lead to increased employee productivity. Human resource managers can use motivational incentives like training, rewards, recognition, and understanding of each employee’s background. This may create a sense of belonging and increased engagement of employees from diverse cultures (Shahreki, 2019). Meng and Berger (2019) investigated the role of organizational leaders on employee organizational engagement using 838 participants. An online survey by use of emails was used to collect data. According to study findings, employees satisfied with internal communication reported increased organizational engagement. Supportive organizational culture and excellent leadership skills create a positive relationship with employees, resulting in increased job performance and job satisfaction (Meng & Berger, 2019). Previous researchers have identified transformational leadership as a characteristic of a positive working environment. Khan et al. (2020) conducted a study exploring the impact of transformational leadership on employees’ well-being in organizations. Data was collected from 308 employees working in the telecommunication sector. The data was collected through surveys via emails, online surveys, and printed questionnaires. It was revealed that transformational leadership positively impacted employees’ intrinsic motivation. This helped employees think positively about themselves, the organization, and their tasks and create positive relationships with leaders (Khan et al., 2020). The intrinsic motivations may lead to the efficiency and effectiveness of leaders in their work performance (Khan et al., 2020). According to Khan et al. (2020), transformational leadership leads to fairness and honesty, resulting in less exhaustion and low burnout levels in the workplace. A positive work-life balance is a likely characteristic of a positive work environment. Chakraborty and Gangul (2019), exploring the relationship between work balance and a positive working environment, established that a positive work-life balance motivates employees as it helps maintain a positive working environment. Organizations can introduce recreational work-life activities, which make employees balance and adjust their work life and family responsibilities, maintain their well-being and increase productivity at work (Chakraborty & Gangul, 2019). In addition, appreciation of employees, encouragement of positive thinking, transparency, and positive flow of communication create a positive working environment and a sense of belonging and enhance employees’ morale in organizational performance and engagement (Chakraborty & Gangul, 2019). In the view of the above literature, it can be concluded that characteristics of a positive work environment include transformational leadership, recognition, rewards, training and development, diverse positive organizational cultures, positive work balance, and human resource engagement in employees’ welfare motivating factors for employees. These positive characteristics may increase organizational engagement, performance, productivity, and achievement of set organizational goals and targets. Benefits of a Positive Work Environment Previous research has identified several benefits of a positive work environment. For instance, Ahakwa et al. (2021) studied the Influence of employee engagement, work environment, and job satisfaction on organizational commitment and performance of employees: A sampling weights in PLS path modeling. The study findings showed that organizational commitment fully mediated the link between work environment and employee performance in the WPLS-SEM model compared to PLS-SEM with partial mediation. This research is relevant to my dissertation because the findings will be used in this study to understand the influence of the work environment on employee engagement and commitment to organizations. Jaskyte et al. (2020) studied employees’ attitudes and values toward creativity, work environment, and job satisfaction in human service employees. This research shows that creativity and free flow of information among employees improve their sense of commitment to an organization. Geue (2018) conducted a quantitative study on the relationship between a positive work environment and organizational performance. A total of 230 employees participated in the research, and data was collected using questionnaires in the USA. In addition, hierarchical regression analyses and linear regression analyses were done. The scholar established that positive practices by leaders might lead to positive ethical behaviors in employees that result in positive organizational outcomes and employee well-being (Geue, 2018). In addition, when employees have trust, confidence, and positive relationship with their leaders and colleagues, increased work engagement and performance is observed, which is a significant benefit for organizations (Geue, 2018). Similarly, Chakraborty and Ganguly (2019) investigated the benefits of employee engagement in an organization. Chakraborty and Ganguly (2019) found that positive social and work relationships among and between employees and leaders and positive organizational culture lead to a satisfying work environment and engaged employees. In addition, employee engagement may yield tangible and intangible benefits to the organization, such as increased retention, increased productivity, work becoming a fun experience, and positive organizational performance linked to employees’ well-being (Chakraborty & Ganguly, 2019). In another study, Shore et al. (2018) explored the benefits of an all-inclusive working environment in organizations. After data analysis, it was reported that an inclusive work environment might lead to higher job satisfaction, innovation, creativity, and high retention among employees which benefits the organization as it may lead to high productivity and increased organizational performance (Shore et al., 2018). A high inclusion climate enhances team information sharing, which is linked with team creativity (Shore et al., 2018). Inclusive work environments may result in employees feeling safe, improved work engagement, being valued through recognition of one’s hard work, feeling respected, creating a sense of belonging when involved in decision making, increased retention, and transparency within the organization (Shore et al., 2018). Randel et al. (2018) conducted a qualitative study exploring the effects of inclusive leadership on organizations. The findings showed that leadership styles might lead to a sense of belonging because of the support employees get, practicing equity with fairness within the organization create a sense of being needed in an organization, and involvement of employees in decision making. The positive leadership styles result in innovation and creativity, increased organizational performance, and low turnover rates. Inclusive leaders may use their vision to encourage employee commitment to achieving the set organizational goals (Randel et al., 2018). Leaders who recognize employees’ values create confidence in employees to be more innovative and improve their work performance resulting in high productivity (Randel et al., 2018). In a different study, Donley (2021) explored the advantages of job satisfaction in an organization using qualitative methods. Donley (2021) established that a supportive and safe work environment positively impacts organizations because of job satisfaction, increased engagement, increased productivity, improved organizational commitment, increased retention, and low turnover rates. Employees reported increased self-efficacy, autonomy, well-being and empowerment, and mental, emotional, and physical health as low levels of burnout, stress, and organizational commitment (Donley, 2021). Ahakwa et al. (2021) investigated the relationship between a positive work environment and employee engagement in employee commitment in an organization. Seven hundred twenty employees from the banking sector participated in the research, and the structural equation modeling technique was used to analyze data. According to study findings, there was a positive relationship between a positive work environment and employee productivity. Employee engagement may result in increased commitment and improved performance attributed to the organization’s feeling of being valued and appreciated (Ahakwa et al., 2021). Jaskyte et al. (2020) studied the role of employee values and attitudes towards work environment and creativity in the United States and Lithuania. Two hundred sixty-five participants participated in the study, and data were collected through multiple social media outlets and an online survey. After performing data analysis, Jaskyte et al. (2020) found that work environments that supported work creativity and fare-free flow of information might increase employee commitment to an organization, resulting in increased work output. Pawirosumarto et al. (2017) explored the association between work environment, leadership style, and organizational culture on job satisfaction. A sample of 642 employees took part in the research, and data was collected using questionnaires. The structural Equation Modelling (SEM) method was used in data analysis. The results revealed that work environment, leadership style, and organizational culture positively affect job satisfaction because employees increase retention and productivity (Pawirosumarto et al., 2017). In addition, leadership style positively affects employee performance, resulting in a positive relationship between employees and leaders (Pawirosumarto et al., 2017). As evidenced by the above literature, a positive working environment had significant benefits like increased employee engagement, performance, productivity, commitment, and job satisfaction, resulting in increased retention and achievement of some set organizational goals. In addition, employees too benefited as they felt valued, respected, recognized, and felt a sense of belonging, resulting in work creativity and innovations. Work environment and employee motivation, job satisfaction and turnover Researchers have linked employee motivation, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions to the work environment. For instance, Al Sabei et al. (2020) examined the nursing work environment, turnover intention, job burnout, and quality of care: the moderating role of job satisfaction. The findings show a strong link between a positive work environment, employee job satisfaction, and turnover intentions. Wan et al. (2018) investigated the effects of work environment and job characteristics on the turnover intention of experienced nurses. The mediating role of work engagement, the findings show that the work environment influences employee turnover intentions, especially job-related characteristics within the work environment. Bakkal et al. (2019) explored toxic leadership and turnover intention: Mediating role of job satisfaction. The study findings show the negative effects of toxic leadership on job satisfaction and turnover intention and understand if job satisfaction of nurses and hospital employees has a mediating effect between toxic leadership perceptions (self-seeking, negative state of mind, selfishness, in appreciativeness) and turnover intention. Leaders need to fight toxic leadership in their organizations to create a positive work environment. Existing literature presents overwhelming empirical evidence on the association between toxic leadership and employee organizational commitment. One of the prime indicators of organizational commitment is employees’ turnover intention. Muaaz & Khurram (2020) examined the impact of toxic leadership on job-related outcomes such as employee engagement and turnover intention in the Pakistani banking sector. Using a structural equation model in SmartPLS, Muaaz & Khurram (2020) established toxic leadership adversely affected employee engagement and psychological well-being. Employee engagement and well-being, in turn, significantly increased employees’ turnover intention. Bakkal et al. (2019) also presented evidence for the association between toxic leadership and employee commitment in research. However, Bakkal et al. (2019) restricted their analysis to the healthcare sector, where 658 participants were recruited from three public universities in Turkey. In their findings, Bakkal et al. (2019) reported various perceptions of leadership toxicity, such as selfishness, appreciativeness, and self-seeking behaviors among leaders. Additionally, Bakkal et al. (2019) established that toxic leadership adversely affected employee job satisfaction, which reduced employees’ organizational commitment and intention to stay in their respective organizations. A dominant construct of toxic leadership that has been widely used in the existing literature is abusive supervision, which refers to employees’ perceptions of their leaders’ consistent use of verbal and non-verbal hostility. For instance, Jabbar et al. (2020) used a sample of 255 employees to examine the consequences of abusive leadership in the banking sector. In their findings, Jabbar et al. (2020) reported that toxic leadership was prevalent in the banking sectors of developing countries. Most importantly, Jabbar et al. (2020) said abusive leadership had deleterious effects on employee organizational commitment. As part of their future research recommendations, Jabbar et al. (2020) called for more research on the role of emotional intelligence in curbing leadership toxicity in contemporary organizations. Similarly, Abdallah and Mostafa (2021) also conceptualized toxic leadership as abusive supervision where leaders used negative comments based on target employees’ physical appearance, race, gender, or socioeconomic status. Abdallah and Mostafa (2021) hypothesized toxic leadership was negatively associated with organizational citizenship behaviors, which typically predict employees’ commitment to their tasks and organizations. Using a sample of 486 nurses from several hospitals, Abdallah and Mostafa (2021) performed a multiple linear regression to determine how leadership toxicity affected the nurses’ organizational citizenship behaviors. In their findings, Abdallah and Mostafa (2021) reported toxic leadership was associated with undesirable citizenship behaviors such as lack of organizational commitment and diminished employee motivation. Yaghi (2019) conceptualized toxic leadership as consisting of several elements such as bullying, intimidation, manipulation, and narcissism. Yaghi (2019) collected qualitative data from a sample size of seven senior executives to establish whether such toxic leadership had any effects on employee commitment and motivation. One of the key themes that emerged from the qualitative data was that toxic behaviors from board members such as narcissism, manipulation, and intimidation reduced the commitment of senior executives. The participants indicated that such toxic leadership from board members made them lose interest in pushing the corporate agenda and consider quitting their positions as senior executives. Brouwers and Paltu (2020) examined the impact of toxic leadership on employees’ intention to stay in their respective organizations. Using a sample of 600 semi-skilled and unskilled employees in the manufacturing sector, Brouwers and Paltu (2020) established that leadership toxicity significantly reduced the employees’ commitment to remaining in their respective organizations. According to Brouwers and Paltu (2020), when employees perceive their organizations as tolerant of toxic leadership, they are likely to respond by developing a negative attitude towards their job, leaders, and the entire organization. An inevitable consequence of a sustained negative attitude is increased chances of employee turnover. Zaabi et al. (2018) examined the association between leadership toxicity and organizational trust and cohesiveness in a different study. Following their literature review, Zaabi et al. (2018) conceptualized corporate trust and cohesiveness as predictors of employee motivation. Using a sample of 600 healthcare employers in the United Arab Emirates, Zaabi et al. (2018) established a strong negative association between leadership toxicity and organizational trust and cohesiveness. According to Zaabi et al. (2018), leaders who displayed non-toxic behaviors were more likely to value the efforts of their employees. The employees, in turn, were more likely to develop trust in their leaders and become more motivated to perform their tasks exceptionally. Similar findings were reported by Amutenya (2019), who examined whether leadership toxicity had any association with employee motivation. According to Amutenya (2019), elements of leadership toxicity include bullying, manipulation, and lack of regard for employee’s well-being. Using an experimental design with a sample of 66 employees from an organization in Windhoek, Amutenya (2019) established that toxic leadership reduced employee engagement levels. A reduction in employee engagement levels subsequently increased employees’ intention to leave the organization. Apart from the impact of toxic leadership on employee commitment and motivation, existing literature also presents overwhelming evidence of the negative role of toxic leadership in reducing employees’ job satisfaction levels. Job satisfaction is the general attitude of an employer towards the job, workplace conditions, the leaders in the workplace, the quality of interactions among employees and leaders, and the overall organization itself (Sharma, 2017). Based on their systematic literature review, Sharma (2017) explored various elements of toxic leadership that reduce job satisfaction. According to Sharma (2017), toxic leaders are self-centered and cannot withstand criticism; hence are more likely to develop destructive relationships with their followers. Consequently, employees may develop job-related stress and decreased motivation. The observations of Sharma (2017) were confirmed in an empirical study conducted by Sharma (2017) on the relationship between toxic leadership and employee job satisfaction Sharma (2017) used a sample of 130 higher education instructors from Sarawak in Malaysia. In their findings, Sharma (2017) reported that even though the levels of toxic leadership in Malaysian institutions of higher learning were generally low, a negative association was observed between toxicity and the tutors’ job satisfaction. Uysal (2019) examined the moderating effect of leadership toxicity on the association between job stress and job satisfaction. Uysal (2019) conceptualized abusive leadership using Reed’s (2004) leadership toxicity syndrome model. In their model, Reed (2004) identified three main elements of leadership toxicity syndrome; a leader’s lack of concern for employee’s welfare, a lack of interpersonal skills, and employees’ perception of the leader as being selfish. Using a structural equation model design, Uysal (2019) established that while there was a negative association between job stress and job satisfaction, leadership toxicity was a strong moderator of this relationship. In another similar study, Bakkal et al. (2019) established that employees’ job satisfaction significantly reduces when they perceive their leader as selfish and having a personality that does not promote an organizational climate conducive to work. Most importantly, Bakkal et al. (2019) reported that employees’ job satisfaction reduced drastically when a toxic leader dominated the organization. Hinen explored the concept of toxic leadership and its impact on job satisfaction in the military sector using a phenomenological design. Notably, Hinen (2019) interviewed a sample of 23 ex-military officers from the United States. One of the key themes that emerged from the qualitative data collected was that military officers mainly resign due to intimidation and lack of concern for their well-being due to toxic leadership (Hinen, 2019). However, a positive association between toxic leadership and job satisfaction has also been reported in the existing literature. In one such study, Zaabi et al. (2018) examined the impact of toxic leadership on extrinsic and intrinsic job satisfaction. Intrinsic job satisfaction is associated with the specific tasks that constitute the job, while extrinsic satisfaction has more to do with the work environment and compensation. In their study, Zaabi et al. (2018) reported toxic leadership was positively associated with extrinsic job satisfaction, a finding that was contrary to mainstream theory and empirical literature. However, the target population could partly explain the results, which typically consisted of unskilled and semi-skilled workers who perceived constant supervision as a sign of job security. Summary
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