Q-1) Why organizational cynicism prevails in most of the organization?
Cynicism Is On the Rise
Research over indicates that cynicism is on the rise which affects society as well as business. As one research depicts that Cynicism not only affects society at large, but also is widespread among organizations in the United States (Dean, Brandes, & Dharwadkar, 1998; Kanter & Mirvis, 1989), Europe, and Asia (Kouzes & Posner, 1993).
Research reports that cynicism in organisation hurts the competitiveness and ability to accommodate today's needed organizational change. Paul J. Rosen (Hendrick, 1993, p. E1:2), President of the American Institute of Stress, indicates that ...view middle of the document...
Thus, cynicism is acknowledged as a increasing problem in the workplace that merits immediate and detailed research attention.
Organizational psychologist and consultant, Philip H. Mirvis, and Professor Donald L. Kanter (1989, p. 377) found, in their national survey of 649 workers, that one bold theme prevailed: "self-interest and opportunism mark today's wised-up employee." They classified 43% of these workers as being cynical (p. 379), and 40% of the managers and supervisors as being cynical, as well (p. 381). In a later study (Mirvis and Kanter, 1991), they concluded that more workers were cynical, rising from 43% to 48% (p. 50).
Cynicism has been described in a number of ways. Much of the past research has defined cynicism as a personality trait (Smith, Pope, Sanders, Allred, & O’Keefe, 1988), or has identified industry-level environmental causes of cynicism (i.e., workforce reduction and cutbacks, firm performance) (Andersson & Bateman, 1997). Other studies have examined antecedents or causes that are under the direct control of individual organizations (Andersson, 1996; Reichers et al., 1997). Further, it has been theorized that organizational cynicism includes both a stable personal component as well as situational components (Abraham, 2000; Dean et al., 1998).
Ingredients of Cynicism
Mirvis and Kanter (1991) explain there are three key ingredients to cynicism, 1) unrealistically high expectations of oneself and others, 2) the experience of disappointment in oneself and others (and the resulting feelings of frustration and defeat), and 3) disillusionment, and being deceived by others.
Mirvis and Kanter (1989) describe four aspects of company life that most often disillusion people, including perceptions that the 1) pay system is rigged, 2) management can't be trusted, 3) company doesn't care and 4) the organization's time is at a premium. Effective responses to these concerns, respectively, include widely communicating the rationale and structure of the pay system, making hard truths testable and verifiable, bringing community into the workplace, and giving organization members more control over their time.
Cynics don't trust management, find the pay system to be fair, think they have fair chance for advancement, don't believe management listens to them or value their jobs (Mirvis and Kanter, 1989). Cynical managers "are skilled in controlling information and exercising power through operatives" (Mirvis and Kanter, 1989, p. 381) In their mind, they 'made it the hard way,' and anyone who has not is weak, naive, inept, or just plain stupid" (Mirvis and Kanter, 1989, p. 381).Mirvis and Kanter (1989) go on to convey that cynics appear aloof and unfeeling, and treat people as if they were machines. Cynics are open and vocal about how the game is played; they see through company politics and thrive on inside dope. They yield cynicism like a sword.
Q.2. Assess the impact of cynicism on organizational performance.