Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Moderating Effects of Tenure and Gender on the Relationship between Perception of Organizational Politics and Commitment and Trust

Academic journal article South Asian Journal of Management

Moderating Effects of Tenure and Gender on the Relationship between Perception of Organizational Politics and Commitment and Trust

Article excerpt

Relationships between perceptions of political behavior and outcomes were empirically found to be ambiguous and equivocal. Few researchers have found consistent evidence of their effect on outcomes. This study proposes that employee tenure and gender moderate the relationships between Perceptions of Organizational Politics (POP) and commitment and trust. Series of regression and correlation analysis, Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and its second-order Higher Order Confirmatory Factor Analysis (HCFA) were adopted to test the model. The result shows that POP relates negatively to both commitment and trust. Tenure and gender were found to influence the relationships between POP and the identified outcomes. Male and female employees, whether treated fairly or not, have gender moderates POP and trust relationships. Tenured employees who are treated fairly also have different strengths in these relationships. Both gender and tenure were found to have different strengths in their effects on POP and commitment relationships. Implications of the findings for organizations and suggestions for future research are discussed.

INTRODUCTION

Organizational cohesiveness is one of the factors differentiating organizations in terms of the employee-employer relationship. Cohesion that involves the molding of a group is related to greater proportions of working relationships in the workplace (Odden and Sias, 1997). For instance, employee cohesiveness is enhanced by commitment and trust. Furthermore, in the literature, commitment has been reported to give firms economic advantage (Martin, 2008). From an economic perspective, employees need contractual safeguards, whereas firms create dependence and make a commitment to employees. However, based on the relational viewpoint, trust is more important than legal and contractual mechanisms to protect exchanges. Nonetheless, both approaches are in actual fact viewed as complementary. In order to realize their interests, employees and firms may engage in political behavior (Chen and Fang, 2008) .

Most people agree that politics in the workplace is a reality of organizational life and seeks to protect diverse and often competing interests, particularly within dynamic and uncertain situations (Poon, 2003; and Chen and Fang, 2008). Political behavior, for example, is defined as "the study of power in action" (Pfeffer, 1981; and Chen et al, 2008). It is used to bargain to attain or perpetuate certain interests. Therefore, most managers view political behavior as ethical and necessary. They use political behavior as a means to realize organizational effectiveness, change, resource and reputation (Buchanan, 2007). Nevertheless, political action such as inappropriate distribution of organizational outcomes leads to jealousy and resentment among employees (Othman, 2008). As a consequence, employees use political action to manipulate their work. Accordingly, political behavior in the workplace affects individual perceptions of fairness (Judge and Robins, 2007; and Miller and Niçois, 2008), in turn decreasing employee commitment and trust, which in turn affects organizational productivity and profitability. The purpose of this study is to test the effect of different perceptions of equity in political behavior on commitment and trust relationships. The study speculates that employees who perceive inequitable treatment will have negative commitment and trust responses, whereas employees who perceive equitable treatment will have increased commitment and trust.

Although recent empirical studies have investigated the relationship between political behavior and commitment, the relationship seems ambiguous and equivocal. For example, Ferris et al. (2002) argued that political behavior negatively affects commitment, yet other scholars have found a positive relationship (e.g., Khumar and Ghadially, 1989; study 1 of Cropanzano et al, 1997). Furthermore, two other studies have found no relationship at all (Cropanzano et al. …

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