Political Skill Dimensionality And Impression Management Choice And Effective Use

Robyn L. Brouer, Canisius College
Rebecca L. Badaway, University at Buffalo
Vickie C. Gallagher, Cleveland State University
Julita A. Haber, City University of New York


Purpose The purpose of this study was to test a moderated mediation model of the dimensionality of political skill on influence tactic choice and performance ratings. Design/Mythology/Approach Dyadic data were analyzed using a mixed-method approach to account for any leaderlevel effects, as well as bootstrapping methods to account for the modest sample size (n = 116). Findings Social astuteness best predicted positive impression management (IM) over negative IM. Apparent sincerity interacted with positive impression management tactics to predict higher performance ratings, whereas interpersonal influence did not. Implications The findings support that socially astute individuals use more positive influence tactics in the workplace. This could impact the broader work environment, making it more pleasant than one with individuals using negative influence tactics. Thus, it might be the interest of organizations to train individuals to enhance their social astuteness. However, confirming prior research, performance evaluations made by managers are impacted by more than objective performance (e.g., political skill). Thus, organizations need to ensure the proper training of managers to lessen these types of biases. Originality/Value This research empirically validates components of the metatheoretical framework of political skill (Ferris et al. Journal of Management 33:290–320, 2007) by examining the impact that dimensions of political skill have on interpersonal processes and outcomes in the workplace.