Kristyn Scott, “A cynical contagion: Employee and supervisor cynicism and workplace outcomes”

Kristyn Scott
Department of Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour,
Ted Rogers School of Management
Feb 10, 2015

Much like any virus, organizational cynicism can spread beyond the cynic alone. This research focused on the relationships between 204 employees and their supervisors and found that if either one expressed cynical workplace attitudes, this spread to the other. The spread of cynicism had a negative impact on a host of important organizational outcomes ranging from the quality of the relationship between the employee and supervisor, job satisfaction, commitment and ultimately, job performance. These results suggest that the documented increase in organizational cynicism might be the result of its viral-like effect on people in organizations.

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