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Fire in the belly: the impact of despotic leadership on employees work-related outcomes in the hospitality setting
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management  (IF6.514),  Pub Date : 2021-08-28, DOI: 10.1108/ijchm-03-2021-0394
Belal Albashiti, Zeeshan Hamid, Mohammed Aboramadan


Building on conservation of resources theory and unfolding theory of turnover, this paper aims to propose a model of the effects of despotic leadership on employees’ job satisfaction and turnover intention in the hospitality industry. In this model, the authors theorize psychological distress to play an intervening role among the aforesaid linkages.


The data were collected in three-waves from 212 employees working in Palestinian restaurants. A covariance-based matrix in structural equation modeling was used to verify the proposed linkages in the study. A marker variable was used to control the common method bias.


The results showed that despotic leadership has a direct negative effect on job satisfaction and a positive indirect effect on turnover intentions. Besides, psychological distress showed to play significant mediating effects among the aforementioned relationships.

Practical implications

This study gives insights to the hospitality industry on how despotic leadership can be destructive and lead to negative consequences.


This study is unique, as it is the first study conducted on despotic leadership in a hospitality setting. The study responded to scholarly calls made to enrich the literature pertaining to despotic leadership and its outcomes.