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Relations at workplace, cynicism and intention to leave: A proposed conceptual framework for organisations

James B. Abugre (Department of Organization and Human Resource Management, University of Ghana Business School, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




Although employee relations are recognised as important mechanisms for initiating organisational competitiveness and output, existing research has focused primarily on how these relations embed employees’ job and performance, rather than on the declining outcomes from such relations. This paper aims to integrate research on co-worker relations at workplace and cynicism with social exchange as a theoretical grounding to propose a process model that focuses on how employees’ positive relationship at workplace impacts negatively on their cynical behaviours in organisation leading to their intention to stay rather than their intention to leave.


This study offers a conceptual analysis and a review of the literature to explain employees’ behavioural intentions which may lead to their psychological threat or psychological safety in work organisations.


This work positions cynicism as psychological threat that moderates and predicts the likelihood that negative relations at workplace will actively engage employees’ intention to leave the organisation. Similarly, the model positions job satisfaction and commitment as psychological safety that predicts the likelihood that positive relations at workplace will engage employees’ intention to stay. The outcome of this study is the creation of a model which provides a comprehensive methodological framework for conducting behavioural research.

Research limitations/implications

This is a conceptual paper.

Practical implications

This study has major implications for managing and communicating with workers, as well as organisational socialisations and practices related to co-worker relations for effective human resource management practices from both managerial and practitioner perspective.


This work has been able to create a theoretical framework that provides an understanding for management to learn from its end-state competencies and contributions. By this, the model created would enable research to examine the empirical relationship between co-worker relations, cynicism and intention to leave. Thus, the contribution of this paper identifies the roles that management and organisational leadership can play in the practice of employee behavioural intentions.



Abugre, J.B. (2017), "Relations at workplace, cynicism and intention to leave: A proposed conceptual framework for organisations", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 198-216.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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