When organizational politics matters: The effects of the perceived frequency and distance of experienced politics
Maslyn, John M.
Farmer, Steven M.
Bettenhausen, Kenneth L.
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John M Maslyn, Steven M Farmer, Kenneth L Bettenhausen. 2017. When organizational politics matters: The effects of the perceived frequency and distance of experienced politics. Human Relations. vol 70:no. 12:pp. 1486-1513
Drawing from literature linking organizational politics with effects of challenge or hindrance stressors, this study investigated the effects of the frequency and psychological distance of positive and negative conceptualizations of perceived politics on the impact to the individual. It was hypothesized that the frequency of political behavior would exhibit an inverted-U-function relationship with favorable evaluations of political behavior and that this relationship would be moderated by distance. Two independent samples were used to test the hypotheses. Results for negative conceptualizations of perceived politics indicated a curvilinear frequency-evaluation relationship such that moderate levels of negative or dysfunctional politics are evaluated more favorably than either high or low levels. The distance of the political behavior was further found to moderate this relationship, with distant politics having little effect on the frequency-evaluation relationship, but politics with nearby impact yielding more negative evaluations as frequency increased. For positive conceptualizations of perceived politics, results revealed that respondents evaluated this form of politics more favorably the more it occurred. Further, positive political behavior was reported to be less desirable when its impact was believed to be at a distance rather than being felt by respondents personally. Implications are discussed.
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