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ERIC Number: ED514920
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 144
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-4760-0
The Effects of Organizational Cynicism on Community Colleges: Exploring Concepts from Positive Psychology
Barnes, Lenora Lacy
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Claremont Graduate University
This study tested the negative relationships between organizational cynicism and organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior, and the positive relationship between organizational cynicism and turnover intention within the context of higher education. Going beyond previous research efforts, this study identified how these relationships are diminished through the moderating effects of positive affectivity and orientations to happiness (hedonism, eudemonia, and engagement). Four-hundred and seventy-three employees (473) of a community college district responded to an email solicitation to participate in the study. Respondents were members of one of three classifications of employees: classified staff, certificated faculty or managers (classified or certificated). Employees who held cynical attitudes were less committed to the organization, engaged in fewer behaviors above and beyond their job duties, and were more likely to leave the job, thus confirming predicted relationships. Positive affectivity was not shown to interact with organizational cynicism such that the relationships between organizational cynicism and organizational commitment, turnover intention, and organizational citizenship behavior were different for employees who were higher in positive affectivity as compared to those lower in positive affectivity. Orientations to pursue happiness did not moderate these relationships either; their relational patterns were no different for employees who pursued full-lives (i.e. simultaneously pursuing high levels of hedonism, eudemonia, and engagement) as compared to those who pursued empty-lives (i.e. simultaneously pursuing low levels of each). As main effects, those high in positive affectivity were actually found to be more committed to the college district and more engaged in citizenship behavior. This was also true of employees who found happiness through eudemonic and engaging pursuits rather than hedonistic pursuits. Key findings of this study and their implications for the field are highlighted. Challenges, strengths, and suggestions for future research on organizational cynicism are offered with concepts from positive psychology in mind. The bold suggestion is made to invite, not dismiss, the cynic to engage in the discourse; thus offering voice to areas of inadequacy within the organization and its culture which may in fact need due attention and solutions applied that are derived from a positive rather than a negative perspective. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Two Year Colleges
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A