Organizational justice and autonomy as moderators of the relationship between social and organizational cynicism

Catherine T. Kwantes, Michael Harris Bond

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


Healthy organizations are ones that can, to an extent, overcome employee characteristics that result in negative outcomes by creating policies and procedures that minimize the results of these individual differences. The relationship between general social cynicism and three forms of cynicism about one's organization - cognitive, affective, and behavioral - was explored, along with the extent to which organizational justice - distributive, procedural, and interactional - moderates that relationship in two samples - part-time and full-time employees. Findings suggest that social cynicism is related to employees' organizational cynicism when conceptualized as a cognition, but not when conceptualized as an affect or a behavior in part-time employees. Autonomy was added as an additional predictor of organizational cynicism for full-time employees. In this sample, social cynicism was related to all three forms of organizational cynicism and interacted with perceptions of distributive injustice to predict affective organizational cynicism, and with autonomy to predict behavioral organizational cynicism. These results support the conclusion that the effect of employee social cynicism on their cynicism about the organization may be moderated by instituting policies emphasizing greater fairness and autonomy-granting.

Original languageEnglish
Article number109391
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


  • Organizational justice
  • Social cynicism
  • Organizational cynicism

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