Organizational Cynicism

Author: Abraham, Rebecca


“This book is written for the academic community, but chief executive officers, managers, and even government officials would be well served by reading this book. This essay examines cynicism at the personality, work, and employee levels. Starting from the beginning of civilization to the present, it covers theories on cynicism, the consequence of cynicism and concludes with a call for future research. As such, it is scholarly, complete, informative, well-researched and well written.” – Professor Lena Hall, Nova Southeastern University

“Dr. Abraham's book covers an important and interesting topic. Emotionality in work organizations has been neglected as a research topic and as a set of issues to be managed. The neglect is so pervasive that it reflects an 'emotional aversion' to dealing with positive or negative emotions at work. Dr. Abraham points out that a certain amount of skepticism is necessary and healthy in society and in work organizations [e.g., 'The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.' (Thomas Jefferson)]. However, when skepticism increases to a point where all or most statements or promises are mistrusted then necessary emotional community and work cooperation must fail. She shows how several different contemporary trends toward destructive cynicism destroy social commonality and threaten even minimal performance in organizations.” - Professor Joseph L. Balloun, Nova Southeastern University

“Rebecca Abraham's book offers a fascinating, well-researched and readable argument concerning causes and effects of organizational cynicism. I am especially drawn to the discussion of cynicism in the helping professions (Chapter VI) as the discussion has direct application to my own field. Equally impressive is the discussion concerning employees understanding of the dynamics of organizational tasks and structures: '... an employee has to have a reasonably clear understanding of the dynamics of task and structure' (pp. 170-171). The models and frameworks for explaining organizational cynicism, and especially the 'Integrated Model' (Chapter XI) provide insights into the wide-ranging effects of workplace cynicism.” – Professor Ed Stieve, Nova Southeastern University

Table of Contents

1. Background Cynics: Past and Present
2. A Definition of Cynicism
3. Societal Cynicism
4. Employee Cynicism
5. Personality Cynicism
6. Work Cynicism
7. Organizational Change Cynicism
8. Psychological Contract Violation
9. Burnout
10. Organizational Cynicism and Job Satisfaction
11. Organizational Cynicism and Organizational Commitment, Alienation, and Organizational Citizenship
12. Summary, Conclusions, and Recommendations