The negative impact of organizational cynicism on physicians and nurses

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Despite the potentially severe consequences that might result, there is a paucity of research on organizational cynicism within US health care providers. In response, this study investigated the effect of cynicism on organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and interest in leaving the hospital for another job in a sample of 205 physicians and 842 nurses. Three types of cynicism were investigated: trait (dispositional), global (directed toward the hospital), and local (directed toward a specific unit or department). Findings indicate that all 3 types of cynicism were negatively related to affective organizational commitment and job satisfaction, but positively related to interest in leaving. In both nurse and physician samples, cynicism explained about half of the variance in job satisfaction and affective commitment, which is the type of commitment managers are most eager to promote. Cynicism accounted for about a quarter and a third of the variance in interest in leaving the hospital for nurses and physicians, respectively. Trait, global, and local cynicism each accounted for unique variance in affective commitment, job satisfaction, and interest in leaving, with global cynicism exerting the largest influence on each outcome. The implications for managers are that activities aimed at decreasing organizational cynicism are likely to increase affective organizational commitment, job satisfaction, and organizational tenure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-288
Number of pages13
JournalHealth Care Manager
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Leadership and Management
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning

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