The role of cynicism in follower championing behavior: the moderating effect of empowering leadership

Sabar, Badri Munir Sukoco, Robin Stanley Snell, Ely Susanto, Teofilus, Sunu Widianto, Reza Ashari Nasution, Anas Miftah Fauzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study investigates how, in the context of organizational change initiatives, the adoption of empowering leadership can foster positive social exchange relationships between leaders and subordinates, in turn, neutralizing cynicism about organizational change (CAOC) and allowing follower championing behavior (FCB) to emerge. Design/methodology/approach: The authors analyzed data from 908 faculty members from 11 top-rated public universities in Indonesia. The data used in this research are multisource, so the data processing steps are rwg and ICC tests, data quality testing, and hypothesis testing. Findings: The authors found that CAOC among these members had a negative effect on their FCB, but this negative effect was buffered by the presence of empowering leadership. Research limitations/implications: The authors' research captures perceptions at one point in time. Future research could adopt a longitudinal approach to simulate empowering leadership stimuli and investigate the impacts of FCB. Practical implications: This study contributes to Indonesian business management, which exhibits a culture of high power distance. The findings suggest that managers should improve managers' interpersonal communication with subordinates and consider managers' feelings toward change in the organization so that managers' subordinates will provide feedback in the form of decreasing cynicism and will exhibit FCB. Originality/value: This study contributes to the understanding of why CAOC may not be expressed explicitly in Asian countries due to Asian collectivist and high power-distance values that discourage subordinates from voicing their disagreement with change initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-688
Number of pages20
JournalLeadership and Organization Development Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jun 2022


  • CAOC
  • Follower championing behavior
  • Higher education
  • Indonesia


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