Navigating Ambivalence: Perceived Organizational Prestige–Support Discrepancy and Its Relation to Employee Cynicism and Silence


  • Mignonac Karim
  • Herrbach Olivier
  • Serrano-Archimi Carolina
  • Manville Caroline


  • Ambivalent identification
  • Organizational cynicism
  • Silence
  • Perceived external
  • Prestige perceived
  • Organizational support

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Drawing on the social identity literature, this study offers theoretical arguments and empirical evidence to understand reactions to divergent perceptions of organizational external prestige (PEP) and organizational support (POS)—two crucial bases of employees' social worth. Across three studies, using both experimental and field data, we find that PEP-POS discrepancy contributes to employees' perceptions of organizational cynicism and silence behavior, especially when PEP is high and POS is low (rather than the reverse). Consistent with our social identity perspective, we find that ambivalent identification, that is, the simultaneous identification and disidentification of an individual with an organization, is a key mediating mechanism that transfers the interactive relationship of PEP and POS to cynicism and silence. These findings contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of individuals' social worth at work

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