Impact of Despotic Leadership on Workplace Incivility: Serial Mediation of Stress and Emotional Exhaustion


  • Muhammad Ali Raza Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Imran Department of Management Sciences, COMSATS University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Noor Ul Hadi College of Business Administration, Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia



Despotic Leadership, Workplace Incivility, Emotional Exhaustion, Serial Mediation


Purpose: Considering the importance of despotic leadership to employees’ negative outcomes, this study explored how despotic leadership affects workplace incivility. Drawing on the dark side of leadership, the current study conceptualizes a model to explore the mechanism underlining the despotic leadership and workplace incivility relationship.

Design/Methodology: A cross-lagged survey approach was employed to collect data from 249 employees through questionnaires from Pakistan’s healthcare sector. Model based on structural equation was employed for data analysis.

Findings: Results of the study indicate that employees working in the health sector perceive incivility as a foremost consequence of despotic leadership, stress and emotional exhaustion.

Originality: This research painted a more comprehensive picture of despotic leadership and workplace incivility relationship in the health sector. We conclude that leveraging the bright side while acknowledging the dark side of leadership is an appropriate coping strategy to deal with workplace incivility. The aim of this study is to understand relationship between despotic leadership (DL) and workplace incivility (WI) with serial mediation of stress and emotional exhaustion (EE) in healthcare sector. The study strives to present empirical evidence for negative impact of DL on WI and its toll on employee performance.


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How to Cite

Raza, M. A., Imran, M., & Ul Hadi, N. (2024). Impact of Despotic Leadership on Workplace Incivility: Serial Mediation of Stress and Emotional Exhaustion . NUST Business Review, 5(2).