Organizational Politics, Justice, and Support: Managing the Social Climate of the Workplace

By Russell S. Cropanzano; K. Michele Kacmar | Go to book overview

ership. However, this framework is very general and does not address the underlying processes. Second, a justice approach shifts the focus in influence tactics research from broad categorizations of tactics to an examination of the content and implementation of tactics. While some research examines the content and enactment of tactics (e.g., Yukl et al., 1993) most--in an attempt to distill influence techniques to a manageable set--ignore how the tactic was actually enacted (i.e., what was actually done). Consequently, much information about what people are actually doing is lost.

In general, the influence tactics research ignores why influence attempts are successful. Some research ( Falbe & Yukl, 1992; Yukl & Tracey, 1992) notes that agents consider the "cost" of the tactic. Falbe & Yukl note that effectiveness is a function of the intrinsic properties of the tactics and the types of request for which the tactic is used. A procedural justice framework suggests that how the tactic is operationalized (e.g., how the target is treated, how credible the explanation is, how sincerely the target's input is considered) warrants attention.

Finally, a justice perspective suggests it may be possible to enhance the perceived fairness of particular influence tactics in part by combining tactics. For example, in using a legitimating tactic, reliance on procedures might increase perceptions of fairness if the agent reminds the target (courteously!) that the agent is acting consistently by following policy. Our previous discussion of exchange also suggests ways to enhance or decrease perceptions of fairness.

Influence tactics are an important area of study. They have been related to relevant organizational outcomes such as stress and performance ( Deluga , 1989). It is clear that research in this area is moving beyond "what do people do and how frequently do they do it," toward understanding when and why individuals are successful in their influence attempts. Much of this is uncharted territory. We hope that this chapter provides a useful map to this terrain.


NOTES
1.
Note that while there is substantial overlap in the set of tactics examined, few of these studies use the exact same set of tactics. The number and type of tactics examined varies across the studies.
2.
These analyses were conducted using the empirically derived rankings from the Ambrose and Cyr ( 1994) study. The results (shown in Table 6.7) do not change substantially, although the magnitude of the correlations is greater when the empirically derived ranks are used.

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