Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Between Love and War: The Effects of Affective Commitment in Organizational Politics and Organizational Performance

Academic journal article Journal of Organizational Culture, Communications and Conflict

Between Love and War: The Effects of Affective Commitment in Organizational Politics and Organizational Performance

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

We understand politics as the accumulation and the exercise of power in order to reconcile different interests; that is why we believe that a company, no matter its size, is involved in politics every day (Ramirez, Banos and Orozco, 2014). Organizational politics is a fundamental aspect of organizational life and relates to power, authority and influence. Power is defined as an attempt to influence the behavior of another actor and the ability to mobilize resources on behalf of a goal or strategy (Tushman, 1977; Pfeffer, 1981; and Cobb, 1984).However, there were no significant empirical studies about organizational politics before the 1980s that had practical implications (Gandz and Murray, 1980).

In this work we show that an individual's perceptions of politics are more important than the actual presence of organizational politics. This is because individuals respond to what they perceive and not necessarily to what is objectively real (Weick, 1979; and Ferris et al, 1994). Analyzing perceived politics is useful for a more comprehensive understanding of the work environment. An individual in a political setting may have a belief that hard work will not be consistently rewarded; as organizations with higher levels of politics are not concerned much with the personal needs of subordinates. Employees' attitudes toward their work, organizational commitment for example, also seem to be related to the perceived presence of politics (Cropanzano et al, 1997). Sometimes lower perceptions of politics result in higher employee satisfaction, and consistent feedback environments are associated with lower perceptions of organizational politics (Rosen et al, 2006). Political behavior may be used to predict important work outcomes (Cohen and Vigoda, 1999), aspolitical involvement increases job satisfaction, organizational commitment and participation in decision making. The negative relationship between political participation and performance shows that strictly political involvement seems to have negative consequences for behavior and attitudes at work. It is possible that political behavior has different effects in different cultures; as we will demonstrate in this paper, the effects of organizational politics are not necessarily negative, at least in Mexico.

Some performance variables are related to perceptions of organizational politics, but differ substantially across sectors and are higher in the public than in the private sector (Bodla and Danish, 2008). The behavior of people at work is at least as important as their feelings (Randall et al, 1999). Various characteristics of the organization and the job are associated with perceived politics, and politics, in turn, predicts various outcomes. People don't react to politics in the same way across different cultures. Higher-status individuals are in a better position to shape and benefit from political decision-making, meaning that politics has a less deleterious impact onattitudes among high-status individuals. Individuals who perceive their organizational environment to be highly political but are reluctant to leave the organization, engage in political behavior as a mechanism of control through which their situation can be made more bearable. On the other hand, employees who choose to stay with the organization although they are dissatisfied might engage in lesser political behavior, such as absenteeism, as responses to a highly political environment (Harrell-Cook et al, 1999).

A number of studies have found perceived politics to be indicators of various organizational outcomes, including psychological states such as job stress and burnout, and employee attitudes such as job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Job ambiguity, scarcity of resources and trust climate are significant predictors of perceptions of organizational politics. These perceptions,in turn, mediate the effects of these situational antecedents on job stress, job satisfaction and turnover intentions. …

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