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Dark side of leadership and information technology project success: the role of mindfulness

Namra Mubarak (Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Jabran Khan (Cardiff School of Management, Cardiff Metropolitan University, Llandaff Campus, Cardiff, UK)
Sajid Bashir (Department of Management Science, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Samyia Safdar (Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Journal of Managerial Psychology

ISSN: 0268-3946

Article publication date: 28 March 2023

Issue publication date: 3 April 2024




The success of projects is a major challenge for information technology (IT) project-based businesses (PBOs). Employees' negative emotions (NE) disrupt the employees' usual work activities by creating obstacles to routine operations. Organizations should take steps to lessen these NE. The current study assessed the mediating role of NE and the moderating influence of employee mindfulness in the association between despotic leadership (DL) and IT project success (PS).


Time-lagged data were collected from 341 employees working in various IT-based project organizations in Pakistan using purposive sampling.


Results were consistent with the authors' hypothesized framework, as DL increases employees' NE, which in turn negatively affects IT PS. In addition, mindfulness plays a buffering role in mitigating the damaging impact of DL on NE.


Previous researchers focused on the positive aspects of leadership and its influence on PS and paid limited attention to the dark leadership style. The authors' study's findings help understand how project-based organizations can reduce employees' NE.



Mubarak, N., Khan, J., Bashir, S. and Safdar, S. (2024), "Dark side of leadership and information technology project success: the role of mindfulness", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 304-322.



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