Academic journal article Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies

The Effects of Positive Affect and Gender on the Influence Tactics-Job Performance Relationship

Academic journal article Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies

The Effects of Positive Affect and Gender on the Influence Tactics-Job Performance Relationship

Article excerpt

Influence tactics are goal-oriented behaviors that individuals use to obtain desired outcomes. Thus, it is important that managers understand subordinates' use of influence tactics and the effects of these tactics on organizational outcomes. In this paper, we argue that positive affect (PA) will moderate the relationship between upward influence tactics and job performance ratings, and that the form of the relationship will differ for males and females. Data were gathered from 287 university administrators to test these questions. Results indicated that PA moderated the relationship between influence tactics and job performance ratings for the entire sample, such that those possessing higher levels of PA were the recipients of higher performance ratings when all influence tactics (i.e., a "Shotgun" approach) were employed and when "hard" influence tactics were employed. Moreover, findings indicated that the use of these approaches was associated with greater performance ratings for females with high PA, but not for males. Implications of these findings, limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.

Influence Tactics--Job Performance Relationship

Influence tactics involve attempts by one individual (the "agent") to change the behavior, attitudes, or beliefs of another individual (the "target"). Surprisingly, the area has not received a large amount of attention in the organizational sciences, despite the fact that many researchers have argued that the ability to successfully influence people is critical to managerial effectiveness (e.g., Bass, 1990; Yates, 1985). In fact, Yukl (1998) stated, "influence is the essence of leadership. It is necessary to sell your ideas, to gain acceptance of your policies or plans, and to motivate others to support and implement your decisions" (p. 207). Thus, managing relationships with superiors, colleagues, and subordinates appears to be critical to success in organizations. Although researchers have been investigating influence tactics relationships for almost two decades, Yukl (1998) recently noted that the amount of empirical research that has been conducted is limited, and that many questions remain unanswered.

Various directions of influence attempts (i.e., upward, downward, or lateral) can be studied. However, the role of upward influence tactics appears especially relevant in light of the increase in organizational downsizing and the trend to empower workers. In this context, employees have multiple reasons and motivations to attempt to influence supervisors (Farmer, Maslyn, Fedor, & Goodman, 1997). Organizations and managers should be interested in gaining a better understanding of influence tactics particularly because significant relationships between upward influence tactics and several important organizational outcomes have been found. In particular, different strategies or combinations of influence tactics have been found to be significantly related to job performance (e.g., Kipnis & Schmidt, 1988; Wayne & Kacmar, 1991; Yukl & Tracey, 1992). Additionally, influence tactics have been significantly related to assessments of promotability (Thacker & Wayne, 1995), salary increases (e.g., Kipnis & Schmidt, 1988; Thacker, 1995), and career progression (Judge & Bretz, 1994). Thus, research evidence to date has indicated that upward influence tactics play an important role in work environments, and are significantly related to several important organizational outcomes.

Although research has studied different types of upward influence tactics-work outcomes relationships, there is still very little known about the contingencies associated with upward influence tactics (i.e., why particular tactics are effective in some situations and not in others). There has been some work investigating antecedents and consequences of influence tactics (e.g., Ansari & Kapoor, 1987; Cheng, 1983; Deluga & Perry, 1991; Farmer et al. …

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