An Assessment of the Factors that Affect the Level of "Perception of Office Politics"

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Phillips, Charles U
Politics and Social Change; Work, Economy and Organizations
thesis / dissertation description
The culture of an organization is often the primary indicator of the expected and accepted employee behavior. Organizations with weak directives, poor communication, and ineffectively managed cultures are breeding grounds for the negative dysfunctional interpersonal dynamics referred as "office politics." Studies indicate that considerable time and energy are lost to solving problematic issues originating from the influences of office politics in organizations with weak cultural expectations. Therefore, it is conceivable that developing a positive organizational culture that facilitates certain values is an important step in eliminating the ill effects of office politics.The purpose of this quantitative non-experimental study was to ascertain the degree and impact of the perceptions held by top-level fie administrators on the phenomenon of "office politics". In addition, the role of office politics was examined as it relates to the established culture and climate of their organizations. The preliminary aspect of this investigation entailed the assessment of contemporary and classic literature of theoretical perspectives and empirical studies on "Office Politics," "Ethics," and "Organizational Culture." The sample was one of convenience comprised of 155 fire chiefs of metropolitan fire rescue departments in the United States with a minimum staffing strength of 400 professional firefighters and was not generalized to any other group. The instruments chosen for this study were: (a) the Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale (POPS; Kacrnar & Ferris, 1991), (b) the Abridge Job Descriptive Index (AJDI; Bowling Green, 2000), (c) the Job in General (JIG) Scale, (d) the Stress in General Scale (SIG; Bowling Green, 1985; Parra & Smith, 1995), and (e) the Intention to Quit (ITQ) Scale. The five scalel69-item survey was supplemented with a brief 11 -item personal demographic questionnaire. The collected data was subjected to descriptive, cross tabulation, correlation, and multi-regression analyses to inquire into the affects of a set on independent variables (stress, job satisfaction, employee's turnover/retention, etc.) on the dependent variable of the "Perception of Office Politics." The results suggest that the independent variables with the most definite influence on the dependent variable are: (a) department size, (b) work stress (measured by the SIG), and (c) general job satisfaction (measured by theAJD1).