Organizational politics as a blindfold: employee work engagement is negatively related to supervisor-rated work outcomes when organizational politics is high

Yongxing Guo, Haiying Kang, Bo Shao, Beni Halvorsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the moderating effect of organizational politics on the relationships between work engagement, in-role performance and organization citizenship behavior – organization (OCBO). Design/methodology/approach: Theoretical hypotheses were tested using a sample of 107 supervisor-subordinate dyads in China. Outcome variables, such as in-role performance and OCBO, were rated by supervisors. Findings: Contrary to the established literature on positive work engagement-work outcomes relationships, the findings supported the prediction that work engagement was negatively related to supervisor-rated in-role performance and OCBO when the organizational is perceived as highly political. Research limitations/implications: The sample size for this study is relatively small. In addition, the authors measured organizational politics from employees’ perspectives, which might not reflect reality objectively. Furthermore, the data were collected at a single time point, so causal relationships could not be validated. Practical implications: When employees perceive the work environment as political, organizations need to be aware of non-work factors that may influence supervisors’ evaluation of employee performance to ensure they do not demotivate and discourage highly engaged employees. Originality/value: Considerable research has shown that work engagement is positively related to in-role performance and OCBO. The present study, however, challenges and extends previous research by suggesting that work engagement can lead to low supervisor evaluation of in-role performance and OCBO when the organization is perceived to be political.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784-798
Number of pages15
JournalPersonnel Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019


  • In-role performance
  • Organizational citizenship behaviour
  • Organizational politics
  • Quantitative
  • Work engagement

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