Positioning depression as a critical factor in creating a toxic workplace environment for diminishing worker productivity

Samma Faiz Rasool, Rashid Maqbool, Madeeha Samma*, Yan Zhao, Amna Anjum

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


This study determined how a toxic workplace environment can influence worker productivity, directly and indirectly, using work depression as a mediating variable. A toxic workplace environment with multiple dimensions (harassment, bullying, ostracism, and incivility) was used in this study. We used a questionnaire survey approach to evaluate the data. A total of 53 items were used in the questionnaire with a five-point Likert scale. The data were collected from 23 branches of five Chinese banks in the vicinity of Shanghai. The authors distributed 250 questionnaires among targeted employees (senior managers, middle managers, and administrative staff) and received 186 filled questionnaires, among which six were incomplete. Thus, the completed sample size of the research was 180, and the overall response rate was 72%. To estimate the proposed relationships in the research model, we used partial least-squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM 3.2). The outcomes of this study indicate that for direct and indirect relationships, a toxic workplace environment negatively influences worker productivity. Moreover, the outcomes of this study also show that work depression negatively impacts worker productivity. The study concludes with a discussion, limitations, and future research directions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2589
Number of pages18
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2019
Externally publishedYes


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