Organizational Silence Among Nurses: The Impact on Organizational Cynicism and Intention to Leave Work

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In recent years, organizational silence and organizational cynicism, factors that have been shown to inhibit the improvement of organizations, have been highlighted in the health sector. Nearly every aspect of these two issues has been studied.


This research was conducted to identify the relationship between the organizational silence, organizational cynicism, and intention to leave work of nurses.


This descriptive and correlational study was carried out in August and September 2013 with 323 nurses at a university hospital in Ankara. A questionnaire that includes a personal information form, the Organizational Silence Scale, the Organizational Cynicism Scale, and a question about intention to leave work was used. Ethics committee approval and institutional permissions were obtained. A statistician analyzed the data.


The present research found administrative and organizational reasons to be the most important reason why participants remain silent (M = 35.4 ± 13.1), with the tendency not to speak up about ethics and responsibility issues the second most important reason (M = 17.3 ± 6.5). The organizational cynicism of participants is at an intermediate level (M = 36.4 ± 9.6) and may be characterized as cognitive (M = 14.6 ± 4.3). Approximately half of the participants had never considered leaving work. For the participants in this study, organizational silence particularly influences organizational cynicism. The reasons for organizational silence in conjunction with organizational cynicism increase intent to leave work (R = .395, R2 = .156, p < .001).

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

This study found that the reasons for organizational silence and organizational cynicism influence the intention of nurses to leave work. The reasons that lead nurses to become silent, to experience cynicism, and to leave work in healthcare environments should be identified. Programs and activities to replace negative ideas with positive ideas should be implemented.

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