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Moderating role of cynicism about organizational change between authentic leadership and commitment to change in Pakistani public sector hospitals

Haroon Bakari (Department of Business Administration (Thatta Campus), University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan)
Ahmed Imran Hunjra (School of Accounting, Finance and Economics, The University of Waikato, New Zealand and University Institute of Management Sciences-PMAS-Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan)
Stephen Jaros (Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business, Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA)
Imamuddin Khoso (Institute of Business Administration, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, Pakistan)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Article publication date: 1 July 2018

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019




This study aims to explore the moderating role of cynicism about change in the positive relationship between authentic leadership and employee commitment to change.


This study used an exploratory research design with deductive approach to invite responses of doctors, nurses and para medical staff of public sector district hospitals, set to be privatized, on structured close-ended questionnaires. Data gathered from four hospitals chosen because they were undergoing restructuring that facilitated the testing of our propositions were analyzed through structural equation modeling using AMOS. A total of 271 usable responses (response rate of 65 per cent) were analyzed. Interaction and simple slope tests were applied to test moderating effects.


Results indicate that authentic leadership is positively related to commitment to change. Cynicism about change moderated this positive relationship such that a high level of authentic leadership has a stronger impact on commitment to change when cynicism is low rather than when cynicism is high.

Practical implications

Results show that in Pakistani hospitals undergoing restructuring, leaders who use authentic leadership will have followers who are more committed to enacting the planned changes, but this effect is magnified if followers are not cynical about the change. Thus, regulators of public sector hospitals may benefit from this study by developing authenticity in hospital leaders to mitigate cynicism about and enhance their commitment to change.


This study is the first which has explored relationships among cynicism about change, authentic leadership and commitment to change in a privatization context of Pakistan. Findings should be tested in other cultural contexts to determine generalizability.



Informed consent: Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest: Authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


Bakari, H., Hunjra, A.I., Jaros, S. and Khoso, I. (2019), "Moderating role of cynicism about organizational change between authentic leadership and commitment to change in Pakistani public sector hospitals", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 32 No. 3, pp. 387-404.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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