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Khurram Aziz1, Muhammad Awais2, Syed Shahbaz ul Hasnain3, Muhammad Arslan4, Qadeer Rahat5
1PhD Scholar, University of the Punjab Gujranwala, Pakistan, 2MBA, University of the Punjab Gujranwala, Pakistan, 3MPhil Scholar, Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad Pakistan, 4PhD Scholar, University of the Punjab Lahore, Pakistan, 5The University of Northampton, United Kingdom


The purpose of this study is to analyze the impact of perceived contract violation (PCV), abusive supervision (AS) and servant leadership (SL) on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and mediating role of employee cynicism (EC). A survey was conducted and data was collected from 212 respondents from service sector of Pakistan. Confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling techniques were used to analyze data. The findings of this research shows that PCV, AS and SL has significant impact on OCB directly and indirectly. Employee cynicism also played a significant mediating role between independent and dependent variables. This study indicated the antecedents and outcome of employee cynicism and provided guidance to organizations in the related area.  
Key Words
Organizational citizenship behavior, Servant leadership, Employee cynicism, Leader’s abusive supervision.


1.1. Background

Employees expect from their organization that their contribution or efforts should be valued. Employees who feel that their contribution is not valued by the organization are likely to develop the feelings of distrust or disloyalty. It means they are likely to have cynicism towards the organization. Employee cynicism is a negative attitude in which an employee becomes hopeless, frustrated and disappointed from the individuals, groups, ideologies, norms as a whole or any combination of these (Lynne M Andersson & Bateman, 1997; Dean, Brandes, & Dharwadkar, 1998; Thundiyil, Chiaburu, Banks, & Peng, 2014). According to Dean et al. (1998), this negative behavior have three forms. Firstly, in cognitive dimensions employees may form believe that organization doesn’t have integrity. Secondly, frustrated employees may start giving negative influence to the business. Lastly, behavioral situation that, employees may start showing critical behaviors towards an organization.
The cognitive dimension asserts that employees are inconsistent in their work. It shows that employee lacks the ability to follow the rules and regulations and also reveals that there is an absence of honesty (Abraham, 2000; Brandes & Das, 2006; Dean et al., 1998). The affective dimension asserts the cynical attitude of individuals and their emotional response towards organization. This is followed by behavioral aspect. It is perceived that most of these behavioral responses are in the form of affirmation criticizing the organization that it lacks sincerity and honor. In this aspect, employee strongly criticizes the company and makes doubtful estimation (Kutaniş & Çetinel, 2009). This shows that organization cynicism has negative behavior in accomplishing goals of the organization. Due to this importance, there is a need to conduct further research on antecedents and consequences of employee’s cynicism.

1.2. Problem Statement

Organization is made up of different elements like leaders, employees, groups, norms etc. These elements work collectively to accomplish organization’s goals. Leaders who put their interest beyond the concern of others are servant leaders. According to R. Greenleaf (1969), leader must fulfill the demands of others. The focus of servant leader is on colleagues instead of self. Such leaders understand the role of leader as a servant and exhibit it (Robert K Greenleaf & Pownell, 1985). When employees interpret that organization is working for its own interest rather than the concern of employees, they develop the perception of trustworthiness. These perceptions lead towards employee cynicism. Employees working in an organization have some expectations, when these anticipations are not fulfilled, they develop feelings of distrust and betrayal. It is known as employee cynicism. Organizational citizenship behavior is the beneficial behavioral of colleagues towards each other. This conduct is not advised by anyone rather it occurred freely to help in achieving organization’s goals. This study will explore the relationship of perceived contract violation, abusive supervision and servant leadership with OCB in service sector organizations of Pakistan. Researcher asserts that this research is first of its kind as the proposed relationship was not tested earlier in the selected context (service sector of Pakistan). This study will use employees’ cynicism as a mediating variable. In previous studies, it was tested as a dependent variable.

1.3. Research Aim

The purpose of this study is to analyze the influence of perceived contract violation (PCV), abusive supervision (AS) and servant leadership (SL) on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and mediating role of organization cynicism (EC) in the banking and other service sector organizations of Pakistan. In our study, we will also examine the antecedents and consequences of employee cynicism. This study will contribute to literature and helpful for the managers to avoid negative consequences of EC.

1.4. Scope of Research

This study examined PCV, AS, SL, EC and OCB in service sector of Pakistan. The respondents were from banking, education, couriers and other service sectors of Pakistan. This study investigated the particular relationship of EC in service sector organizations using it as a mediator of three antecedents (PCV, AS and SL) and its effect on OCB. The data was collected from service sector organizations and respondents were from different cities of Pakistan.


2.1. Perceived Contract Violation

According to D. Rousseau (1995), perceived contract is the trust of an individual about conditions of exchange between that particular person and organization. Perceived contract is actually the perception of persons about what they are indebted to organization and what organization is indebted to them (Robinson, 1996). The clarification of perceived contract may not be shared between the persons and organization because it is extremely personal. Researchers believe that having no or negative explanation of perceived contract can generate belief of one of both parties that the other party is violating the contract. As the tenure of employees increase, their expectations also increase. They expect more obligation from their employer towards them whereas their own commitments towards organization decreases (Robinson, Kraatz, & Rousseau, 1994). According to Robinson (1996), PCV is a sensitive state that predicts belief of an individual that organization remains unsuccessful to keep its promise of obligation. When employees work together, they are not only affected by others but also affect others (Milgrom & Roberts, 1988; Ramlall, 2004). During working in an organization, employees develop some expectations, if those expectations are fulfilled, they get motivated and their level of commitment increases. These employees work in a better way and due to their improved performance, sales and profits of the organization increase. However, if their expectations are not fulfilled, they become hopeless and lose their trust in organization (Rayton & Yalabik, 2014). Perceived contract violation can lead towards employee cynicism, low commitment and lack of organizational citizenship behavior.

2.2. Abusive Supervision

Abusive supervision (AS) defines as up to what extent leaders and supervisors are involved in antagonistic verbal and nonverbal behaviors (Bennett J.  Tepper, 2000). Verbal may include smashing door, shouting at employees, using rough language and threatening employees about their job security and promotion. Non-verbal antagonistic behaviors may include ignoring and hostile eye-contact. AS is a personal assessment that an individual make according to their own observation. Therefore, this perception may be changed with changing of environment and personality. Moreover, abusive supervision is a behavior of continuous aggression. A supervisor with a bad day due to any personal reason may has bad behavior with their employees. Therefore, this cannot be considered abusive supervision unless it became a permanent part of the personality of supervisor. Besides this, some supervisors may use this type of behavior to accomplish objectives of the organization. It means it is willful and the purpose is to achieve the goals of the organization, not to cause harm to employees. For example, a supervisor may misbehave with his employees to compel them to increase their productivity or to make employees realize their mistakes (Bennett J Tepper, 2007). According to Deluga (1998), AS can also be clarified through leader member exchange theory. This theory asserts on a two-sided relationship between employee and employer. The quality of leader-member exchange can have effect on decisions, thinking of employees, their obligation, performance and behaviors. Abusive supervision can create a sense of disruption and frustration between employees, therefore, according to this theory, AS can be related to employee cynicism.

2.3. Servant Leadership

Servant leadership is a concept that was provided much before in Bible and there were seven words to denote servant like pais, sundoulos, oitketes, therapon, huperetes, doulos, and diakonos. From these seven words, not even a single word propose negative meaning (Getz, 1984). According to Sendjaya and Sarros (2002), the main difference between SL and traditional leadership is the intentions of SL regarding serving subordinates. There are many models about servant leadership, presented in last 15 to 20 years (Barbuto Jr & Wheeler, 2006; Farling, Stone, & Winston, 1999; Liden, Wayne, Zhao, & Henderson, 2008; Page & Wong, 2000; Patterson, 2003; Russell & Gregory Stone, 2002; Sendjaya & Sarros, 2002; Sendjaya, Sarros, & Santora, 2008). The concept of servant leadership is developed on a belief to inspire followers so that they can perform to their full potential. Leaders should communicate one-by-one to each follower so that they can understand their needs, objectives and potential.
This knowledge would help the leader to motivate and support their followers by providing them information, resources, and guidance. In this way, servant leader can build their self-confidence and trust. Most importantly, he should perform as a role model for his followers (R. G. Lord & Brown, 2001). The concept behind servant leadership is putting interests of others above self interests (Joseph & Winston, 2005). According to Dennis and Winston (2003), if leader provides service to a follower, it would result in follower service back to the leader. According to Gregory Stone, Russell, and Patterson (2004), the purpose of a servant leader is not to direct supporters but to motivate and to become a role model for them and they will provide services further.

2.4. Employee Cynicism

Cynicism is a kind of belief that people only think about themselves regardless of others and the individual who holds this faith is called a cynic. The main point about cynicism is that cynic people believe that authenticity, trustworthiness, and impartiality are lost for personal benefits. Cynicism is the discontent, disenchantment, and attitudes of individual or group of people. This definition provides guidance that attitude is an important element of employee cynicism (Delken, 2004). According to Nair and Kamalanabhan (2010), cynicism is a kind of attitude that people keep aloofness and unfriendliness with an organization by considering that employer always go for making fool their employees. Özler and Atalay (2011), suggested that it is a feeling of dissatisfaction, distrustful, desperate and disruption. Cynical employees may harm their organization and may hinder the organization from achieving its objectives. These people believe that their colleagues are self-seeking (Barefoot, Dodge, Peterson, Dahlstrom, & Williams Jr, 1989).
This type of attitude has three forms. First of all, employees may believe that their employer is not truthfulness. Secondly, there are chances that employees start influencing their organization negatively.  Thirdly, they may start critical behavior and expression of withering (Dean et al., 1998). There are also some researchers who believe that cynicism is not an attitude and a feature of character, but it is a lifestyle (Ozgener, 2008). Employee Cynicism (EC) may be the result of extended working hours, unsuccessful leadership, and work strengthening. After continuous ineffective leadership and unpleasant working environment, employees may tend to start negative expressions about their organization (Wanous, Reichers, & Austin, 1994). Employees having cynicism beliefs may engage in negative feelings about management policies and they may think that their voices are not in consideration of top management that would lead towards worst performance (Wanous, Reichers, & Austin, 2000).

2.5. Organizational Citizenship Behavior

OCB has long been discussed and evaluated in previous studies (Borman & Motowidlo, 1993; Organ, 1988, 1990). Organizational citizenship behaviors have optional nature and not of the part of employees’ duties (Murphy, Athanasou, & King, 2002; Organ, 1988). According to Williams, Pitre, and Zainuba (2002), employees more affianced in organizational citizenship behavior when they have a perception about fair treatment of organization. When employees feel about employer’s failure in fulfillment of employment obligations, they less engross in civic (Robinson & Morrison, 2000). However, it is a thought that OCB is related to job satisfaction, leader cooperation, and impartiality (Chiu & Tsai, 2006; LePine, Erez, & Johnson, 2002). Satisfied employees tend to have more chances of involvement in extra role performance, help others at workplace and look forward beyond their sanctioned obligations. Moving towards more detail, it is also an important belief that when employees are more committed and dedicated to their work, they are more engaged in activities, which are moral, philanthropic, and meticulous.
From an organizational perspective, OCB is advantageous, but managers feel difficulty in their occurrence or grueling their absence through prescribed activities and rewards due to voluntary behaviors of employees (Moorman & Blakely, 1995). According to Chiang and Birtch (2008), voluntary behaviors provoked due to non-financial rewards. Satisfaction cannot lead towards OCB when organizational justice is meticulous (Konovsky & Organ, 1996; LePine et al., 2002; Moorman, 1991). Central to all definitions, organizational citizenship behavior involves offering help to others without expecting instant exchange in return. Researchers studies OCB as an international perception (Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ, 1988; Organ & Konovsky, 1989; Smith, Organ, & Near, 1983).

2.6. Perceived Contract violation and Employee Cynicism

Employees who feel that their work has no value for the organization, it’s possible that they generate a feeling of distrust or betrayal. Research suggested that PCV influence EC. Such employees who feel the violation of contract from the organization are more cynical (Byrne & Hochwarter, 2008; Treadway et al., 2004). Employees become frustrated and hopeless when they feel violation. It will lead to poor behaviors of employees, and they will show their negative feelings for the organization. They will not show productivity and performance. It may lead towards no commitment and workers will not support their colleagues. These factors may generate employee cynicism.  It means PCV and EC are directly correlated. By increasing PCV, EC will also increase that will affect the whole organization and employees will not tend to involve in extra role activities. Thus,
H1: Perceived contract violation predicts EC.
H2: EC mediates between PCV and OCB.

2.7. Perceived Contract Violation and OCB

Organization consists of interdependent elements, which work together to achieve a desired outcome. These elements should be predicted and controlled for organizational success. Employees create a transactional relationship with the organization by proving their productivity and performance in respect of gaining a reward in return. Some employees also develop emotional relationships by expressing good behavior and loyalty for their organization. If employees treated according to their expectation, they will be highly motivated, dedicated and their performance will increase. Besides this, there is a high chance of their involvement in organizational citizenship behavior (Rayton & Yalabik, 2014). It means, perceived contract violation is negatively related to OCB. If employees feel that organization is fulfilling its obligations regarding employees, they will be motivated and tend to involve in extra role activities. Thus,
H3: There is an influence of perceived contract violation on the OCB.

2.8. Abusive supervision and EC

When employees face abusive supervision, they may develop a negative perception about their supervisors and organization. It means it can create employee cynicism, which affects an organization. Zellars, Tepper, and Duffy (2002) found that due to abusive supervision, employees may spread negativity about their organization and may also stop societal behaviors at work. Due to AS, employees feel their insult, and as a result, they lose their loyalty and commitment to the organization. If supervisors appreciate their employees rather than using abusive behavior, employees work hard and tend to perform better. It means abusive supervision and employee cynicism has a direct correlation with each other. Thus,
H4:  Abusive supervision predicts EC.
H5: EC plays a mediating role between AS and OCB.

2.9. Abusive supervision and OCB

Abusive supervision can negatively affect organizational citizenship behavior (Zellars et al., 2002). Due to AS, employees may develop a negative perception about their organization. The employees may lose their concentration as a whole, and they will not involve in extra-role activities. Previous studies show that there is a significant relationship between threatening of employees about their job security and their behavior related to organizational citizenship behavior (Brehm, 1966; Wright & Brehm, 1982). According to Saks and Ashforth (1997), as a result of abusive supervision, employees react against their expectation. It means, they do not involve in extra role activities. But employees may not go against powerful abuser (V. B. Lord, 1998). Thus,
H6: Abusive supervision has a significant impact on OCB.

2.10. Employee Cynicism and OCB

Employee cynicism is a negative feeling of employees in which employees become hopeless from individual, groups or organizational norms and they tend to develop continuous negative believe about their organization. OCB represents the beneficial behavior of workers. This behavior is not contractually advised and occurs freely to help others to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Actually, OCB is performing duties beyond the limitations of official duties, e.g., assisting colleagues, attending a meeting which is not a part of duty, etc. If the employee cynicism is high, there are fewer chances of OCB (Evans, Goodman, & Davis, 2010). Cynicism and OCB have a negative correlation with each other. Lynne M Andersson and Bateman (1997) found a negative correlation between cynicism and organizational citizenship behavior. According to Stanley, Meyer, and Topolnytsky (2005), employees with a higher level of cynicism may be doubtful about manager’s strategies and the logics behind those strategies. This distrustfulness may lead towards no commitment and no OCB. Therefore, by increasing cynicism, OCB will decrease. Thus,
H7: Employee cynicism has a significant impact on OCB.

2.11. Servant Leadership and EC

Previous studies suggest that servant leadership is an inclination towards taking opportunities irrespective nature, time and follower (Blanchard, 2003; Foster, 1989; Spady & Marshall, 1991; Wilkes, 1998). Servant leaders are not like those leaders who assist others only when they need some benefits or when it is easy to serve (Foster, 1989). According to Gregory Stone et al. (2004) servant leaders are those who don’t put their self-interest before the interest of others. These leaders emphasize the development of followers rather than the glorification of leaders. Robert K. Greenleaf (1977), suggested that primarily servant leader linked with meeting the needs and wants of others. When servant leader will fulfill the needs and wants of his followers, they will not think negatively about their organization. It would lead towards less cynicism, and lower cynicism would lead towards higher organizational citizenship behavior. Thus,
H8: Servant leader has a significant impact on employee cynicism.
H9: EC plays a mediating role between SL and OCB.

2.12. Servant leadership and OCB

In servant leadership, it’s not the self-interest of the leaders, which is important rather primary objective of such leaders, is to serve others in a way that they can fulfill the needs and wants of others (Spears, 1998). Servant leader helps others in accomplishing their tasks. When he works by looking at the desires of followers, he can better provide information and resources to them so that they can perform efficiently. Many researchers propose that servant leadership is favorable to OCB because servant leader focuses on the development of followers, their motivation, and their trust (Graham, 1991; Laub, 2003; Sendjaya et al., 2008). According to Liden et al. (2008), servant leader helps his subordinates in generating worth for community and are related to public citizenship behavior. When servant leader assists his subordinates, he provides guidance and a route for followers to act accordingly and perform OCB (Ehrhart, 2004). There is a belief that prediction of follower’s OCB is built on servant leader. According to Robert K. Greenleaf (1977), servant leader provides services to a follower who will provide services to others. It is the nature of person that he learns by seeing others. When people see other people of serving others, they may tend to copy that behavior. If servant leader provides easiness to his supporters, it may create a strong commitment of followers towards their organization, which ultimately would lead towards OCB. Thus,
H10: Servant leadership has a significant impact on OCB.

2.13. Theoretical Framework

Research framework given below (Figure 1) indicates proposed relationship between variables and basis of development of ten hypothesis.. In this research, perceived contract violation, abusive supervision and servant leadership are independent variables. Employee cynicism mediates relationship between perceived contract violation, abusive supervision and servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior (dependent variable). Employee cynicism is considered an important variable in this research because this study investigates its three antecedents in the form of PCV, AS and SL and its effect on OCB as a consequence of employee cynicism.

Figure 1: Theoretical Framework

H2, H5 and H9 hypothesis are built to test this mediating relationship. This study also tests the direct association of PCV, AS, and SL with EC and with OCB. Seven hypotheses H1, H3, H4 H6, H7, H8, and H10 were made in this regard.


3.1. Population and Sampling Design

Population of this study was employees from service sector of Pakistan. The reason behind this selection was that service sector was contributing over 31.1% of GDP of Pakistan (Finance, 2016-17) so it’s important to know the organizational behavior of employees working in particular sector. It includes organizations who were providing services in education, transport, telecom, banking, auditing, consultancy, etc. In this study, positivism, philosophy was adopted and data was collected using self-administered questionnaire. In this study, we explored the relationship of employee cynicism with perceived contract violation, abusive supervision, servant leadership and organizational citizenship behavior. A simple random, sampling technique was used to collect primary data. Time dimension of the research was cross sectional study.

3.2. Instrument

The questionnaire of this study consisted of two sections. The first section consisted of demographical questions asking about respondent related to gender, age, the level of employee, experience, and organization industry. The second part of questionnaire comprised of scale of variables. This research has five variables including perceived contract violation, abusive supervision, and servant leadership as independent variables, employees cynicism as mediating variable and organizational citizenship behavior as the dependent variable. To measure these variables, 5 points Likert scale was used (ranging from 1 strongly disagree to 5 strongly agree). Perceived contract violation scale, developed by (Robinson, 1996; D. M. Rousseau, 1989) was used. It consisted of 8 items. OCB was measured by using scale developed by Podsakoff & MacKenzie (1989). This scale consisted of 14 items, and it’s a modified version of Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, and Fetter (1990). It’s a widely used measure in previous studies related to OCB like (Moorman, 1991, 1993). Servant leadership was measured by using 25 items scale constructed by R.S. Dennis & Bocarnea (2005). To measure employee cynicism, a scale of Dean et al. (1998), Brandes, Dharwadkar, and Dean (1999) and Kalağan (2009) consisted of ten items was used. Abusive supervision was measured using 14 items scale constructed by Bennett J.  Tepper (2000).

3.3. Data Collection

The data for this research was collected through online and field survey. Data collection process took four months. In an online survey, 273 questionnaires were sent to respondents, out of which 207 responses were received and out of 207, researchers obtained 151 correctly filled questionnaires. In field survey, 81 questionnaires were given to employees out of which 61 were correctly filled. To ensure, samples representativeness questionnaire were sent to employees of the different organizations in service sectors. Out of 212 respondents, 156 (73.6%) were male and 56 (26.4%) were female. Likewise, out of 212 respondents 57 (26.89) were managers, 63 (29.7%) were supervisors, and 92 (43.39%) were low-level employees. 75 (35.4%) respondents had working experience less than one year and employees having experience between 1-2 years were 49 (23.1%). Moreover, there was only one respondent who had experience between 2-3 years and there were 32 employees (15.1%) who had experience between 3-4 years. Moreover, 91 (42.9%) respondents were from education industries, 41 were from banking industry 15 (7.15) were from telecom respondents 65 (30.66%) were from other industries like consultancy, audit, transport, etc.
Table.1     Level of employees
Low-level employees

3.4. Data Analysis

In this study, first descriptive statistics analysis was performed to obtain measures of central tendency and dispersion. This was followed by correlational analysis. This study had 73 items under five variables. Factor analysis was carried out to get representatives of each variable that can better explain variability among the variables. KMO test (Table 2) values of each variable were higher than 0.89 that showed sampling adequacy of variables in the model and variables were suitable for factor analysis. In factor analysis, we have extracted 3 to 5 aspects of each variables whose Eigen values were greater than 1. Eigen values represented the variance of observed variable explained by the factor. The cumulative variance of PCV items was 59.8%, AS 59.79%, EC 64.97%, OCB 65.28%, and SL 68.53%.
Table.2    KMO and Bartlett's Test
Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin Measure of Sampling Adequacy.
Bartlett's Test of Sphericity
Approx. Chi-Square

When these objects extracted, a composite factor was developed to perform Structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the mediating relationship of employee cynicism with other variables either it has full mediation or partial mediation.

3.5. Research Ethics

In this study, while conducting research and collecting data, ethics were kept in consideration. First of all, the questionnaire was administered in a way that it did not include any question in both parts, which violate the privacy of respondent. In questionnaire, to maintain privacy, the name of person and organization was also not asked so that respondent feels easiness and respond without biases or any threat of from the job. In data collection process, managers of the organization asked for prior permission for getting responses from the employee. After getting permission data is collected. We did not collect data from organizations that did not allow employees to respond to these questionnaires and information.


The descriptive statistics and reliability of the variables are given in (table 3). Cronbach’s alpha was calculated to measure the consistency of items used to measure variables. The alpha is used to know that whether all the objects of scale represent the variable or not. Correlations between variables given in (table 5) shows relationships among variables. PCV is positively correlated with AS (r=0.782, p<0.001), EC (r=0.801, p<0.001) and negatively correlated with OCB (r=-0.127, p<0.01), SL (r=-0.510, p<0.001). AS is positively correlated with EC (r=0.759, p<0.001) and negatively correlated with OCB (r=-0.85, p<0.05), SL (r=-0.510, p<0.001). Talking about SL, it has negative correlation with EC (r=-0.481, p<0.001) and positively correlated with OCB (r=0.278, p<0.001). These all variables show significant relationships with each other.
 Table.3    Mean, St. Deviations and alpha
Std. Deviation

4.1. Reliability and Validity

SPSS 22 and AMOS 18 were used for data analysis. The composite reliabilities (Table 4) of variables were OCB=0.885, PCV=0.896, AS=0.927, EC=0.893 and SL=0.929. All the values of composite reliability were higher than 0.75 which showed that all the items of scale were explaining a homogeneous structure (Fornell & Larker, 1981). The average variance extracted (AVE) of all variables were OCB=0.575, PCV=0.744, AS=0.733, EC=0.14 and SL=0.32. The AVE was used to determine convergent validity.
Table.4    Validity Analysis
Composite Reliability
1. OCB
2. PCV
3. AS
4. EC
5. SL
This validity occurs at construct level and its preferred values are >0.5. In this study, all the values in the diagonal of above table were greater than 0.5 which were satisfactory (Fornell & Larker, 1981) . In this research, sampling validity was also considered by getting data from different firms of different industries of the service sector.

4.2. Analysis of model fitness

Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to check the model fitness. AMOS was used to test model fitness and goodness-of-fit values were obtained. Preferred criteria of RMSEA is <0.08, IFI, CFI, NFI and GFI >0.9 and CMIN/DF should be less than 3. Table 5 shows that observed values conformed to the level of required values as suggested by Hair, Black, Babin, Anderson, and Tatham (1998) which shows that model is fit for study (see table 6).

4.3. Analysis of the hypothesis

Theoretical Model
The analysis of hypothesis was done using Structural equation modeling (SEM). Figure 2 shows results. It shows that perceived contract violation has negative (21%) direct effect on OCB. While on the other hand, the indirect effect through EC is 27%. Abusive supervision has less direct impact on OCB as compared to the indirect effect. It means, AS has not enough effect on OCB directly. It predicts EC, and then EC leads towards less OCB. Servant leadership has a very less negative effect on employee cynicism, that is -5%. All independent variables together have 69% effect on employee cynicism
Table.6    Model fitness
but all independent variables have 11% direct effect on OCB. It means these variables mostly predict employee cynicism and EC then resulted in low OCB.

4.4. Discussion and Findings

This study evaluated mediating relationship of employees’ cynicism with perceived contract violation, abusive supervision, servant leadership with organizational citizenship behavior. Cynicism is a behavior of employees to be frustrated and hopeless when they feel that organization is not appreciating their efforts, doing against expectations, the supervisor is not behaving well or due to lack of servant leadership (Lynne M. Andersson, 1996; Cole, Bruch, & Vogel, 2006).
Table.5     Correlations (N=212)





*P<0.05; **P<0.01; ***P<0.001
This study revealed that in a workplace if abusive supervision increase, the perceived contract violation will also increase with greater effect. But abusive supervision does not have a much bigger effect directly upon organizational citizenship behavior. It means, due to abusive supervision, they will feel frustrated and hopeless, but their extra role activities will get a short affect only when an abusive supervisor has less power. But if the power of abusive supervisor is greater, employees will not decrease their OCB because it will again increase abusive behavior (V. B. Lord, 1998).

This study shows a strongly significant impact of 78.2% of abusive supervision on perceived contract violation.

Figure 2: SEM analysis
The study shows a strongly negative relationship between perceived contract violation and servant leadership. It means, in an organization where the leader performs the role of servant leadership, employees will not generate a perception about contract violation (Turnley & Feldman, 1998). A servant leader will always prefer to communicate one by one with each follower so that he can understand their needs, wants, preferences, objectives, and potentials. This knowledge may help the leader to motivate and support his supporters by providing them information, resources, and guidance. In this way, servant leader can build their self-confidence and trust. By keeping in mind this behavior of the leader, employees cannot think about contract violation. Most importantly, he always performs as a role model for his followers (R. G. Lord & Brown, 2001).
Similar to previous studies (Kuo, Chang, Quinton, Lu, & Lee, 2015; Whitman, Halbesleben, & Holmes, 2014), this study revealed that abusive supervision always predicts employee cynicism. Some employees develop an emotional relationship with the organization. When they observe abusive behavior from a supervisor, they get disappointed and lose their commitment (Rayton & Yalabik, 2014). It means, ultimately abusive supervision has an indirect effect on organizational citizenship behavior. Employees who bear abusive behavior will not involve in extra role activities. Leaders can avoid such situation if they develop two-sided communication and decrease abusive behavior. It means servant leadership is the best solution of abusive supervision. If a leader develops leader-member exchange, he will come to know even the small problems of his employees and he can restrict abusive supervisor and can develop an efficient environment in the organization (Schyns & Hansbrough, 2010).


This study revealed that employee cynicism has significant negative impact on OCB. According to Evans et al. (2010), employees who have a high level of cynicism, they rarely involve in OCB. They decrease their commitment to the organization which ultimately affect the whole business. According to Stanley et al. (2005), employees with a higher level of cynicism may be doubtful about manager’s strategies and the logics behind those strategies. This distrustfulness may lead towards the lack of commitment and OCB. Therefore, by increasing cynicism, OCB will decrease as having a negative relationship. Lynne M Andersson and Bateman (1997), also found a correlation between cynicism and organizational citizenship behavior. Besides this, the study also affirmed a strong association between servant leadership and OCB. According to Walumbwa, Hartnell, and Oke (2010), servant leader develops a relationship with his followers by looking towards their needs and preferences. He develops a two-way communication which benefitted to whole business as employees get a chance to approach leader to tell him their problems (Vondey, 2010). It ultimately increases their loyalty and commitment to the organization that leads towards a greater level of organizational citizenship behavior (Graham, 1991; Laub, 2003; Sendjaya et al., 2008).


5.1. Conclusion

Employee cynicism is an important construct and aim of this study was to know antecedents and consequences of cynicism. Cynicism is a feeling of betrayal that is developed in the employee when his/her expectations from the employer were not fulfilled. It is of three forms cognitive, behavioral and affective. Cognitive cynicism states that employee is not suitable to work in the organization or he/she does not possess the abilities to follow the rules and regulations of the firm. In cynicism employee shows its distrust and in behavioral dimension employee criticize the organization that it lacks honor. This cynical behavioral of employees can become a barrier to achieve organizational goals.
In this research, servant leadership, perceived contract violation and abusive supervision were used as antecedents and organization citizenship behavior was used as outcome of employee cynicism. Servant leadership is a concept in which leader do irrespective of what he is. In servant leadership, leader tries to fulfill the needs of others and prefer their needs upon his/her needs. Servant leadership is the best way to motivate others so that they help others and perform at their full potential. Leaders adopt this leadership style because by helping others they get their support and can maintain their position. Perceived contract is an element of trust between the individual and organization. These are the expectations of individuals towards organization when their expectations are fulfilled, employees work with more zeal and zest and if they were not fulfilled employees may develop feelings of distrust or betrayal which is cynicism. When employees are satisfied then they help others employees that create a supporting environment which is OCB. Abusive supervision is the antipathetic behavior of supervisors or managers with their subordinates. This behavioral include shouting at employees, using rough language, threatening employees about the job, ignoring and hostile eye contact.
In this study, we observed that abusive supervision affected OCB. When managers have abusive behavior towards their subordinates, the participative or supportive behavior of employees towards others will reduce. PCV and OCB had a negative relationship. It was because when expectations of employees towards organization are not fulfilled their behavior towards their colleagues will be negatively affected. Servant leadership influenced OCB. This leadership style motivates others to help their coworkers. Negative relationship of employee cynicism were also observed in this study, which suggested that when betrayal feelings increases, it reduces supportive behavior of the employee. The positive association between PCV and EC indicated that when needs of employees were not fulfilled, it became a cause of increasing distrust feelings. Servant leadership and EC had negative relationship which asserted that supportive attitude of leader reduce the cynical behavior. Abusive supervision and EC had the direct relation. It showed that abusive behavior of leader became a cause of negative attitude towards the organization. Employee cynicism had significant mediating role between PCV, SL, AS and OCB. In this study, all ten alternative hypothesis were accepted.

5.2. Recommendations

Following are some suggestions that a manager, supervisor or leader should follow to avoid employee cynicism and to increase the likelihood of personnel’s involvement in organizational citizenship behavior:
·         Managers should stop abusive supervision and PCV because these have stronger positive effect on EC. These lead to higher employee cynicism and lower OCB.
·         Instead of abusive supervision, managers should follow servant leadership skills to get closer to their employees. It will lead towards less cynicism and more OCB.
·         It is recommended to develop two-way communication system between leader and followers to get into their minds and to know their needs and problems. In this way, the perception of employees will not get distorted regarding contract violation that will ultimately predict less cynicism and more involvement in extra role activities.
·         Managers should develop a system of appreciation, whether financial or non-financial, to make employees feel good. The level of satisfaction of some employees depends upon appreciation of their efforts rather than salaries.
·         PCV, AS and SL are the antecedents of EC that predict EC, and as a result, employees lose their commitment and performance.

5.3: Future Research Areas

In this research, there are few limitations that future researchers can cover. First, the sample size is small that can be increased in the future studies so that result will be more generalized and authentic. This research is based on service sector in Pakistan, but future researchers can do this research on both service and manufacturing areas and compare their results. The findings of this study was based on Pakistan’s service sector, therefore, it cannot be generalized on other countries. It is recommended to select another country and make a comparison. The data is collected only once. Future researchers can conduct time-series research and evaluate whether such perceptions change over time or not. It is also recommended to conduct interviews to gather data. Therefore, future researchers can do this research in a qualitative way. This study conducted used employee cynicism as a mediating variable between PCV, AS, SL (as independent variables) and OCB (as the dependent variable). It is recommended to use EC as a moderator in the same theoretical framework or use it as a dependent variable in a new model. Job-related and non-job related gossip can be the part of antecedents of employee cynicism.  It is also suggested to use some control variables to make it more efficient.


Ehrhart, M. G. (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unitlevel organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel psychology, 57(1), 61-94.
Moorman, R. H., & Blakely, G. L. (1995). Individualismcollectivism as an individual difference predictor of organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of organizational Behavior, 16(2), 127-142.

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