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This dissertation attempts to provide a better understanding of how employees develop a positive personal reputation in a work environment. Drawing from expectancy and social exchange theories, it is proposed that politically skilled individuals choose to display effective influence styles in order to develop a strong work relationship with their immediate supervisor. Supervisors should provide their favorite employees with additional resources, and reciprocally, these employees should then increase their job performance and perform organizational citizenship behaviors to benefit their supervisors. Ultimately, individuals who observe these politically skilled employees' job performance and citizenship behavior should assign them a positive personal reputation. Data were collected from employees, their immediate supervisors, and a randomly selected coworker at a promotional products manufacturer in the Midwestern United States. When cluster analysis failed to produce the expected influence styles, a model that included individual influence tactics was tested with structural equation modeling. Although political skill did not affect the use of influence tactics, it did demonstrate a direct, positive effect on personal reputation. In addition, political skill shared a positive relationship with work relationship quality, which shared a positive relationship with job performance. Because job performance exhibited a positive effect on personal reputation, these results suggest that politically skilled employees also develop their personal reputation by building a strong work relationship with their immediate supervisor. The strengths and limitations of this research as well as directions for future research and practical implications are provide
Relationships, Personal Reputation, Political Skill
Date of Defense
March 26, 2008.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Management in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Gerald R. Ferris, Professor Directing Dissertation; David Paradice, Outside Committee Member; Pamela L. Perrewé, Committee Member; Wayne A. Hochwarter, Committee Member; Chad H. Van Iddekinge, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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