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When and why organizational cynicism leads to CWBs

Saima Naseer (Department of Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Usman Raja (Goodman School of Business, Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada)
Fauzia Syed (Department of Management, Faculty of Management Sciences, International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan)
Muhammad Usman Anwar Baig (Department of Management Sciences, Capital University of Science and Technology, Islamabad, Pakistan)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 16 April 2020

Issue publication date: 13 January 2021

1094

Abstract

Purpose

Using conservation of resources theory (COR), the authors test the combined effects of cynicism and psychological capital on counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs) mediated through emotional exhaustion.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use a time-lagged independent source sample (N = 181) consisting of employee–peer dyads from service industry in Pakistan.

Findings

Moderated mediated regression analyses indicated that emotional exhaustion mediates the relationship between organizational cynicism and counterproductive work behaviors. Psychological capital moderates the relationship between organizational cynicism and emotional exhaustion such that organizational cynicism is positively related to exhaustion when psychological capital is low. Furthermore, conditional indirect effects show that emotional exhaustion mediates the relationship between organizational cynicism and counterproductive work behaviors only when employees' psychological capital is low.

Originality/value

The study suggests new mechanisms and boundary conditions through which cynicism triggers CWBs. The authors discuss the implications of the study’s findings and suggest possible directions for future research.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: Current Research did not include formal financial funding and/or support. The author(s) declare that the preparation of this manuscript was not supported by any external funding and is a mere effort of the authors included.

Citation

Naseer, S., Raja, U., Syed, F. and Baig, M.U.A. (2021), "When and why organizational cynicism leads to CWBs", Personnel Review, Vol. 50 No. 1, pp. 90-107. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-09-2019-0480

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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