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Suspicion in the workplace : organizational conspiracy theories and work-related outcomes.

Douglas, Karen M. and Leite, Ana C. (2016) 'Suspicion in the workplace : organizational conspiracy theories and work-related outcomes.', British journal of psychology., 108 (3). pp. 486-506.


Belief in conspiracy theories about societal events is widespread and has important consequences for political, health, and environmental behaviour. Little is known, however, about how conspiracy theorizing affects people's everyday working lives. In the present research, we predicted that belief in conspiracy theories about the workplace would be associated with increased turnover intentions. We further hypothesized that belief in these organizational conspiracy theories would predict decreased organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Finally, we hypothesized that these factors would mediate the relationship between organizational conspiracy theories and turnover intentions. In three studies (one correlational and two experiments, Ns = 209, 119, 202), we found support for these hypotheses. The current studies therefore demonstrate the potentially adverse consequences of conspiracy theorizing for the workplace. We argue that managers and employees should be careful not to dismiss conspiracy theorizing as harmless rumour or gossip.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Douglas, Karen M. & Leite, Ana C. (2017). Suspicion in the workplace: Organizational conspiracy theories and work-related outcomes. British Journal of Psychology 108(3): 486-506., which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:08 July 2016
Date deposited:13 June 2019
Date of first online publication:04 August 2016
Date first made open access:13 June 2019

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