Title: Doing employee cynicism through impression management

Authors: Edward Dennehy

Addresses: Griffith College Dublin, South Circular Road, Dublin 8, Ireland

Abstract: Although much employee cynicism research has focused on the nature of the criticism directed at employers, relatively little research has examined how individual employees present themselves during such criticism. To help fill this gap, this article draws on identity theory to highlight the importance of studying employee cynicism at an individual rather than generic level. This paper focuses on four one-to-one interviews with lecturers at a private third-level educational institute undergoing a change of ownership. A contribution of this article is that it offers an alternative interpretation to the 'either/or' paradigm where we view employee cynicism as a consequence of 'unethical' employer behaviour or the product of 'negative' employees. This paradigm fails to capture the complex and sometimes contradictory nature of the subjects' dynamic positions with regards to employee cynicism.

Keywords: employee cynicism; identity theory; impression management; higher education; ethics; unethical behaviour; negative employees.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMCP.2012.049948

International Journal of Management Concepts and Philosophy, 2012 Vol.6 No.3, pp.170 - 188

Published online: 17 Apr 2015 *

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