TH-P01-032-interactive - The effect of organizational cynicism on coworker exchange relationships

Work attitudes and values
Interactive Poster Presentation
1 hour 30 minutes
O'Brien Foyer
Emotion in the workplace
Work attitudes and values
The effect of organizational cynicism on coworker exchange relationships
J. Humm*, W. Doden 1, A. Feierabend 2, G. Grote 1
1ETH Zurich, 2University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Purpose. Organizational cynicism manifests in a negative attitude, negative affect, as well as in a tendency by employees toward disparaging behavior against their organization and is usually associated with negative outcomes. The behavioral component of organizational cynicism however might also have beneficial effects for employee relationships. Coworkers who observe a colleague’s cynical remarks against their organization might interpret it as a call for help and when they offer their support in turn, the exchange relationship between the coworkers could be strengthened. We expect this effect to be non-linear, as when a person constantly shows very high levels of cynicism, coworkers might start to avoid them and positive effects could be diminished.
Design/Methodology. We surveyed a representative sample of the Swiss working population (N=1076), based on the sample register of the Swiss Federal Statistical Office. We collected data over two measurement points, 3 months apart.
Results. Data analysis is currently ongoing. We plan to use a non-linear approach to analyze the relationship between organizational cynicism and coworker exchange relationships.
Limitations. We collected single-source data only. Dyadic data that includes coworkers’ attitudes toward the employing organization might allow for a clearer picture.
Research/Practical Implications. Consequences of organizational cynicism have garnered little research attention in the past. Understanding the consequences however is crucial for managers to identify the right way of dealing with cynical employees.
Originality/Value. While beneficial effects of organizational cynicism for the employees have been postulated in the literature, they have, to the best of our knowledge, not been empirically tested. 


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