Perceived Organizational Support

Topics: Organizational studies and human resource management, Job satisfaction, Factor analysis Pages: 27 (9234 words) Published: June 11, 2013
Journal of Vocational Behavior 63 (2003) 438–456

Perceived organizational support as a mediator of the relationship between politics perceptions and work outcomes Wayne A. Hochwarter,a,* Charles Kacmar,b Pamela L. Perrew,a e c and Diane Johnson Department of Management, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110, USA Department of Management Information Systems, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306-1110, USA Department of Management and Marketing, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0225, USA b a


Received 27 February 2002

Abstract The present study investigates the mediating potential of perceived organizational support (POS) on politics perceptions–work outcomes relationships. Consistent with previous research, individuals were able to discriminate political activity at more than one level (i.e., at the highest level in the organization, one level up from oneÕs current level, and at oneÕs current level). Further, politics perceived at one level up from oneÕs current level and politics at the highest levels in the organization were negatively related to perceived organizational support. In addition, POS was related to job satisfaction, performance, affective commitment and jobinduced tension providing support for mediation. Implications of these findings, strengths and limitations, and potential avenues for future research are provided. Ó 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. Keywords: Politics perceptions; Perceived organizational support; Work outcomes

Corresponding author. Fax: 1-850-644-7843. E-mail addresses: (W.A. Hochwarter), (C. Kacmar), (P.L. Perrew), (D. Johnson). e 0001-8791/$ - see front matter Ó 2002 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/S0001-8791(02)00048-9


W.A. Hochwarter et al. / Journal of Vocational Behavior 63 (2003) 438–456


1. Introduction Significant reviews of the literature have linked perceptions of politics with a host of negative outcomes (Ferris & Judge, 1991; Kacmar & Baron, 1999). What is currently lacking in the literature, however, is empirical substantiation of why these adverse relationships exist. Instead of examining theoretically relevant mediators of politics perceptions–work outcomes relationships, researchers have assumed that the self-serving nature of politicking inherently leads to conflict (Drory & Romm, 1988), which, in turn leads to negative consequences. We contend that a fundamental reason politics perceptions lead to unfavorable outcomes is because confidence that the organization values the employeeÕs contribution is eroded in environments fraught with politics. Further, politics perceptions have the potential to cultivate negative reactions since individuals question the organizationÕs motivation to protect their psychological safety and well-being. In sum, we contend that perceived organizational support (POS) serves as an important intermediate linkage between politics perceptions and work outcomes. The goal of the current study is to examine the mediating potential of POS on various politics perceptions–work outcomes relationships. Further, we examine politics perceptions at multiple hierarchical levels. Maslyn and Fedor (1998) suggest that politics perceptions may have differential effects depending upon the hierarchical level in the organization. In this study, three levels of politics perceptions are assessed: at the highest level in the organization, at one level up from oneÕs current level, and at oneÕs current level.

2. Organizational politics and perceived organizational support It has long been suggested that work represents a reciprocal relationship where employees provide effort in exchange for both tangible rewards such as pay and benefits and socioemotional benefits such as appreciation and esteem (Angle & Perry, 1983; Levinson, 1965; March & Simon, 1958)....

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