Examining the role of change cynicism and organizational commitment to change: A public sector organizational change study in Pakistan.


  • muhammad nadeem Iqra university islamabad


Organizational change cynicism is a deprecatory attitude of employees which has gained significant attention in rapidly changing organizational environment in 21st century.  It has multiple behavioral consequences however this study tried to investigate its effects on three dimensions of organizational change commitment (i-e affective, normative and continuance change commitment). The article has contributed in existing body of knowledge by investigating the novel relationship of variables at the time of change. This cross-sectional study used convenient sampling to route questionnaires among 408 employees in public sector organizations undergoing restructuring process. The data was analyzed through structural equation modeling. Findings showed significant negative relation among change cynicism, affective and normative change commitment. However, a positive relationship also existed between change cynicism and continuance change commitment. Moreover, results indicated that employees distrusted the change program due to lake of fairness, absence of merit and hidden negative implications. Results also helped to determine reasons for positive relationship between change cynicism and continuance change commitment. The findings of present study may be utilized to lessen the gravity of change cynicism on organizational commitment to change.

Author Biography

muhammad nadeem, Iqra university islamabad

i have completed my PhD from Iqra university islamabad. currently i m serving in one of public sector orgnaization.


Abraham, R. (2000). Organizational cynicism: Bases and consequences. Genetic, social, and general psychology monographs, 126(3), 269.

Andersson, L.M., & Bateman, T.S. (1997), „Cynicism in the Workplace: Some Causes and Effects,‟ Journal of Organizational Behaviour, 18, 449–469.

Armenakis, A. A., &Bedeian, A. G. (1999). Organizational change: A review of theory and research in the 1990s. Yearly Review of Management, 25, 293–315.

Arslan, M. (2018). Organizational cynicism and employee performance. Moderating role of employee engagement. Journal of Global Responsibility, 9(4)415-431.

Beer, M. & Nohria, N. (2000). Cracking the code of change. Harvard Business Review, 78, 133-41.

Bernerth, J. B., Armenakis, A. A., Feild, H. S., & Walker, H. J. (2007). Justice, cynicism, and commitment a study of important organizational change variables. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 43(3), 303-326.

Bollen, K. A. (1989). A new incremental fit index for general structural equation models. Sociological Methods & Research, 17(3), 303-316.

Bommer, W.H., Rıch, G.A., Rubın, R.S. (2005). Changing attitudes about change: Longitudinal effects of transformational leader behavior on employee cynicism about organizational change. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26, 733-753.

Bordia, P., Restubog, S.L.D., Jimmieson, N., and Irmer, B.E. (2011), ‘Haunted by the Past: Effects of Poor Change Management History on Employee Attitudes and Turnover,’ Group and Organization Management, 36, 2, 191–222

Brandes, P.M. (1997). Organizational cynicism: Its nature, antecedents, and consequences. Doctoral dissertation.

Brown, M., Gregan, C. (2008). Cynicism: The role of employee involvement. Human Resource Management, 47 (49, 667-686.

Burke, W. W. (2017). Organization change: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.

Chiaburu, D. S., Peng, A. C., Oh, I., Banks, G. C., &Lomeli, L. C. (2013). Antecedents and consequences of employee organizational cynicism: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 83, 181-197.

Coetsee, L. (1999). From resistance to commitment. Public Administration Quarterly, 23, 204- 222

Cohen, A. (2007). Commitment before and after: An evaluation and reconceptualization of organizational commitment. Human Resource Management Review, 17, 336-354.

Cumming, T., & Worley, C. (2009). Organization development and change. Mason. OH: Cengage Publishing.

Davis, W.D. and Gardner, W.L. (2004), “Perceptions of politics and organizational cynicism: an attributional and leader-member exchange perspective”, Leadership Quarterly, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 439-465.

Dean, J., Brandes, P., &Dharwadkar, R. (1998), “Organizational Cynicism”, The Academy of Management Review, 23(2), 341-352.

Eaton, J. A. (2000). A social motivation approach to organizational cynicism (Master’s thesis). Available from ProOuest Dissertations and Theses database.

Erdost, H.E., Karacaoğlu, K. &Reyhanoğlu, M. (2007).The testing of scales on organizational cynicism at a company in Turkey. 15th Proceedings of the National Management and Organization Congress, Sakarya University, 514-524.

Herscovitch, L. and Meyer, J.P. (2002), “Commitment to organizational change: extension of a three-component model”, Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol. 87 No. 3, pp. 474-87.

Işçi, e , Ari, h . (2018). The role of organizational cynicism for the effect of emotional labor on individual. International Journal of Health Administration and Education Congress (Sanitas Magisterium), 4 (2), 23-59. Retrieved from http://dergipark.org.tr/ijhadec/issue/38538/447152.

James, M. S. L. (2005). Antecedents and consequences of cynıcısm in organızatıons: An examınation of the potential posıtıve and negatıve effects on school systems (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProOuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3183076).

Jaros, S. J. (2010). Commitment to organizational change: A critical review. J. Change Management 10(1) 79–108.

Johnson, J. L., & O’Leary-Kelly, A. M. (2003). The effects of psychological contract breach and organizational cynicism: not all social exchange violations are created equal. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(5), 627-647.

Kalyal, H. J. (2009). Factors Affecting Commitment To Change And Its Outcomes Among Public Sector Managers In Pakistan. Pakistan Research Repository.

Kotter, J. 1995. Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Bus. Rev. 73(2) 59– 67.

Mete, Y. A. (2013). Relationship between Organizational Cynicism And Ethical Leadership Behavior: A Study At Higher Education. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 89 (2013) 476 – 483.

Meyer, J. P., N. J. Allen, C. A. Smith. (1993). Commitment to organizations and occupations: Extension and test of a three-component conceptualization. J. Appl. Psych. 78(4) 538–551.

Meyer, J. P., Stanley, D. J., Herscovitch, L., &Topolnytsky, L. (2002). Affective, continuance, and normative commitment to the organization: A meta-analysis of antecedents, correlates, and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 61(1), 20–52

Nadler, D. A., & Tushman, M. L. (1995). Types of organizational change: From incremental improvement to discontinuous transformation. Discontinuous change: Leading organizational transformation, 15-34.

Ozdem, G., &Sezer, S. (2019). The Relationship between Solution-Focused School Leadership and Organizational Cynicism, Organizational Commitment and Teachers' Job Satisfaction. International Journal of Progressive Education, 15(1).

Ozler, D. E., & Atalay, C. G. (2011). A Research to Determine the Relationship between Organizational Cynicism and Burnout Levels of Employees in Health Sector. Business and Management Review, 1(4), 26-38.

Peccei, R., Giangreco, A., & Sebastiano, A. (2011). The role of organizational commitment inthe analysis of resistance to change: Co-predictor and moderator effects. Personnel Review, 40(2), 185-204.

Pelit, E., & Pelit, N. (2014). The effects of mobbing on organizational cynicism: A study on hotels in Turkey. International Journal of Human Resource Studies, 4(1), 34.

Piderit, S. K. (2000). Rethinking resistance and recognizing ambivalence: A multidimensional view of attitudes toward an organizational change. Acad. Management Rev. 25(4) 783–794.

Pitre, L. J. (2004). Organizational Cynicism at the United States Naval Academy: An Exploratory Study. NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA.

Pitts, J. (2006). The effects of managerial communication and justice perceptions on employee commitment to Organizational change: A mixed method field study.

Podsakoff, P. & Organ, D. (1986). Self-reports in organizational research: Problems and prospects. Journal of Management, 12, 531-44.

Probst, G., S. Raisch. 2005. Balancing autonomy and cooperation: Organizational structures in the 21st century.

Pugh, S. D., Skarlicki, D. P., & Passell, B. S. (2003). After the fall: Layoff victims' trust and cynicism in re‐employment. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 76(2), 201-212.

Qian, Y. (2007). A Communication Model of Employee Cynicism Toward (Doctoral Dissertation, Ohio University).

Reichers, A.E., Wanous, J.P. & Austin, J.T. (1997), “Understanding and managing cynicism about organizational change”, Academy of Management Executive, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 48-59.

Schraeder, M., Jordan, M. H., Self, D. R., & Hoover, D. J. (2016). Unlearning cynicism: a supplemental approach in addressing a serious organizational malady. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 24(3), 532-547.

Scott,K. A., Zweig, D. (2016). Understanding and mitigating cynicism in the workplace. Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 31 Iss 2 pp. 552 – 569.

Stanley, D.J., Meyer, J.P. &Topolnytsky, L. (2005), “Employee cynicism and resistance to organizational change”, Journal of Business and Psychology, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 429-59.

Wanous, J.P., Reichers, A.E., & Austin, J.T. (2000). ‘Cynicism About Organizational Change: Measurements, Antecedents and Correlates,’ Group and Organization Management, 25, 132–153




How to Cite

nadeem, muhammad. (2020). Examining the role of change cynicism and organizational commitment to change: A public sector organizational change study in Pakistan. CITY UNIVERSITY RESEARCH JOURNAL, 10(1). Retrieved from https://cusitjournals.com/index.php/CURJ/article/view/281