Cynical About Change? A Preliminary Meta-Analysis and Future Research Agenda

Tomas G. Thundiyil, Dan S. Chiaburu, In Sue Oh, George C. Banks, Ann C. Peng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Cynicism about organizational change is often considered an important factor that influences employee acceptance of change initiatives. However, cynicism has been compared with several similar constructs with little conceptual or empirical differentiation. To provide a deeper understanding of change cynicism, we compare and contrast it with similar—yet distinct—constructs: organizational trust, resistance to change, and organizational cynicism. We begin with a narrative review of the conceptual distinctions and similarities among these constructs, followed by meta-analysis of the nomological network of change cynicism. In addition, we compare the nomological network of change cynicism with those of organizational cynicism and trust. We discuss the need for a refined conceptualization of cynicism and suggest new areas for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-450
Number of pages22
JournalThe Journal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • employee trust
  • meta-analysis
  • organizational change cynicism
  • resistance to change


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