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Partial mediation of the political skill-reputation relationship

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Purpose ‐ Although reputation is important to career success, little is known about how individuals develop their personal reputation at work. This study seeks to investigate the role of work relationship quality and citizenship behavior as partial mediators of the political skill-personal reputation relationship. Design/methodology/approach ‐ In total, 145 triads from a manufacturer in the Midwestern USA provided data for the study. Employees rated their political skill and citizenship behavior, supervisors rated their relationship quality, and coworkers rated the employees' personal reputation. Based on the complementary theories of signaling and social exchange, the relationships between the constructs were analyzed with structural equation modeling. Findings ‐ Political skill demonstrated both direct and indirect effects on the development of personal reputation. In particular, work relationship quality and citizenship behavior partially mediated the relationship between political skill and personal reputation. Research limitations/implications ‐ Personal reputation was evaluated by a randomly selected coworker, but a collection of perceptions would be helpful. Practical implications ‐ Political skill training and/or mentoring relationships may help individuals manage their personal reputation at work, thus benefiting their careers. Social implications ‐ This study focused on personal reputation in a work environment. However, the results also may be useful to individuals in different types of organizations. Originality/value ‐ This is one of the first studies to investigate how individuals develop their personal reputation at work. Unlike previous research that used self-evaluations of personal reputation, this study used peer evaluations, which is more appropriate for the construct.

Keywords: Employees attitudes; Interpersonal skills; Personal reputation; Political skill; Relationship quality; Workplace

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 19, 2012

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