Organizational cynicism at the United States Naval Academy: an exploratory study
Pitre, Leighton J.
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Organizational cynicism is an attitude, characterized by frustration and negatively valenced beliefs, resulting primarily from unmet expectations, which is capable of being directed towards an organization in general and/or more specific facets of the organizational environment (Brockway, Carlson, Jones, & Bryant, 2002). This thesis presents an exploratory study into the causes of organizational cynicism at the United States Naval Academy. The study is based on focus groups involving 30 first class midshipmen (i.e., seniors). Gaps in expectations versus students' reality emerged as a cause of organizational cynicism. Themes such as (1) constraints on decision-making discretion, (2) disappointment in peers' actions, (3) organizational inconsistencies, and (4) emphasis on outside interests versus midshipmen's interests emerged as the strongest precursors to the development of cynicism. The effects of organizational cynicism were reported as (1) lack of organizational commitment and citizenship and (2) deficiencies in decision-making and risk taking skills.
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