Is Political Behavior a Viable Coping Strategy to Perceived Organizational Politics? Unveiling the Underlying Resource Dynamics

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Abstract

We conduct a theory-driven empirical investigation on whether political behavior, as a coping strategy to perceived organizational politics, creates resource trade-offs in moderating the relationship between perceived organizational politics and task performance. Drawing on conservation of resources theory, we hypothesize that political behavior mitigates the adverse effect of perceived organizational politics on task performance via psychological empowerment, yet exacerbates its adverse effect on task performance via emotional exhaustion. Three-wave multisource data from a sample of 222 employees and their 75 supervisors were collected for hypothesis testing. Findings supported our hypotheses. Our study enhances understandings of the complex resource dynamics of using political behavior to cope with perceived organizational politics and highlights the need to move stress-coping research from a focus on the stress-buffering effect of coping on outcomes to a focus on the underlying competing resource dynamics.

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