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Perceptions of Integrity, Competence and Trust in Senior Management as Determinants of Cynicism Toward Change

PAM, Vol. 7 No. 4, (2002)

As Public Sector organizations continue to undergo
transformational change, it is important to identify organizational factors
that impact on employee attitudes to change. There is limited empirical
evidence about the determinants of cynicism toward change. In this paper,
a model is proposed which identifies three key trust-related antecedents of
cynicism toward change: perceptions of integrity, competence, and trust in
senior management. Data were collected from two Public Sector
organizations to identify levels and correlates of cynicism toward change
and to test the proposed model. The results of confirmatory factor analysis
and structural equation modeling suggest that perceptions of integrity and
trust in senior management influence cynicism toward change. Integrity, as
an element of trustworthiness, was found to directly influence trust in
senior management as well as cynicism toward change. Contrary to
expectations, employee perceptions of the competence of senior management
did not to have a direct influence on trust nor on cynicism toward change.
Collectively the antecedent variables accounted for approximately forty
percent of the variance in cynicism toward change. In general terms, the
findings will prove helpful to human resource practitioners interested in
diagnosing and managing organizational trust and attitudes toward
organizational change.

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