Organizational cynicism: Spillover effects on supervisor-subordinate relationships and performance

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Organizational cynicism has grown in contemporary Western organizations. However, its impact on interpersonal relationships and consequently on organizational functioning remains understudied. The present study addresses these gaps by: a) exploring the spillover effect of organizational cynicism on supervisor-subordinate relationships, and b) examining if the spillover effect extends to employee performance. Specifically, it examines if affective commitment to the supervisor mediates the relationship between the PSSx organizational cynicism interaction effect and performance (i.e., mediated-moderation). Data were collected from both employees and supervisors (N=274) from 45 organizations. Our results generally support our hypotheses. This study provides evidence that organizational cynicism interferes in the relationship employees develop with their supervisors, with consequences to performance. This study opens new avenues for research on organizational cynicism and carries implications for theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)965-976
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Organizational cynicism
  • Spillover effect
  • Social exchanges

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