Dr. Christina Martens notes in her study: "Defined as a workplace attitude, such organizational or employee cynicism is marked by the belief that organizational agents pursue questionable goals. Moreover, it is characterized by feelings of contempt towards these agents and/or by feelings of frustration and disillusionment in the face of organizational practices and processes as well as by engaging in disparaging behaviors like cynical mockeries. Thus, employee cynicism may entail cognitive, affective, and behavioral components."
Change cynics often perceive their leaders as little supportive, as unfair, and/or as untrustworthy, and that they frequently bemoane poor intra-organizational communication practices. Furthermore, many change cynics seem to be dissatisfied with their jobs and are little committed to their organization; they report higher levels of turnover intentions and are less willing to engage in extra-role behaviors, being more likely to show counterproductive work behaviors or resistance.
Change cynicism predicts burnout symptoms in so far as chance cynics report both higher levels of emotional exhaustion and of cynicism towards their occupation.
Based on her research and insights, Christina Martens provides detailed recommendations for Organization Development consultants, change practitioners, and HR-managers as to how corporate changes can be designed in less cynicism-provoking ways to make future change programs more successful.