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A communication model of employee cynicism toward organizational change

Yuxia Qian (Department of Communication Studies, Albion College, Albion, Michigan, USA)
Tom D. Daniels (School of Communication Studies, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)

Corporate Communications: An International Journal

ISSN: 1356-3289

Article publication date: 6 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The study was designed to generate and test a model of employee cynicism toward organizational change from the communication perspective in a higher education institution.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the theoretical framework of social information processing (SIP), the study investigated the communication processes in the social context, which contributed to employee cynicism toward organizational change in the higher education setting. Path analysis was used to test the overall model fit.

Findings

The findings suggest that the three variables, perceived quality of information, cynicism of colleagues, and trust in the administration, predict change‐specific cynicism, which, in turn, lead to intention to resist change.

Research limitations/implications

As an initial attempt to explain employee cynicism toward organizational change in higher education settings, this model inevitably has loose ends. Further research is needed to expand the model from a communication perspective.

Practical implications

The research provided administrators with strategies and advices to cope with employee cynicism during organizational change.

Originality/value

This is the first known study to examine the concept of change‐specific cynicism within the theoretical framework of SIP. It points to a new direction which warrants the attention of communication scholars.

Keywords

Citation

Qian, Y. and Daniels, T.D. (2008), "A communication model of employee cynicism toward organizational change", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 319-332. https://doi.org/10.1108/13563280810893689

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited