The Effect of Authentic Leadership and Psychological Contract Breach on Organizational Cynicism: Focusing on the Moderated Mediation of Followers' Identification with the Leader

  • Kim, Yesung (A Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies) ;
  • Shin, Je-Goo (A Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies)
  • Received : 2017.10.12
  • Accepted : 2017.12.01
  • Published : 2017.12.31


This study sets out to verify the moderated mediation of followers' identification with the leader on the indirect effect of authentic leadership on organizational cynicism via psychological contract breach. A total of 279 responses from employees at companies with more than 500 employees and of diverse industries were used for analysis. Our findings showed that authentic leadership (X) had a negative indirect effect on organizational cynicism (Y) via psychological contract breach (M), and that this indirect effect was negatively moderated by identification with the leader, thereby identifying its role as a moderating mediator. Further verification revealed that the indirect effect ($X{\rightarrow}M{\rightarrow}Y$) was conditional upon the value of the moderating variable, where identification with the leader had a significant effect in the 25%, 50%, 75%, 90% levels, but not in the 10% level. The findings of this research empirically verified that greater exertion of authentic leadership lowers psychological contract breach among organization members and, consequently, organizational cynicism. In particular, this effect was stronger when the organization member identified him/herself more strongly with the leader. Our findings extend the body of knowledge on the relationship between authentic leadership and organizational cynicism and expands the possibilities for future research.


Supported by : Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technology


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