Graduation Year

2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree

Ph.D.

Degree Granting Department

Psychology

Major Professor

Walter C. Borman, Ph.D.

Keywords

Influence, Social effectiveness, OCB, Organizational politics, Leadership

Abstract

The present research was developed to reexamine the factor structure of the Political Skill Inventory (PSI), expand upon the political skill behavioral taxonomy to include charisma, and provide validity evidence for both the PSI and our new measure of charisma. In study one, using a large undergraduate student sample, confirmatory factor analysis provided evidence for a three factor structure of political skill. Charisma and networking ability were identified as unique factors of the political skill construct domain while PSI dimensions of social astuteness, interpersonal influence, and apparent sincerity collapsed to form a single dimension. Study One results also indicated a strong positive relationship between self-reports of political skill, charisma, and OCB.

In Study Two, using a sample of public-sector triads consisting of professional level employees, their coworkers and their supervisors, mixed support was found for the convergent and divergent validity of the four PSI dimensions and charisma across reporting sources. As hypothesized, political skill predicted supervisor reports of overall job performance, task performance, and OCB. Charisma contributed to the prediction of supervisor ratings of overall performance and task performance after controlling for PSI total scores. At the dimensional level, social astuteness and charisma demonstrated the strongest predictive validity across all study criteria. Social astuteness and charisma also demonstrated a significant interaction when predicting supervisor ratings of overall performance and task performance. This interaction indicated that social astuteness plays more of a role in predicting job performance for employees low in charisma than for employees high in charisma.

As an addition to the second study, the ability of the PSI and charisma to predict performance ratings was compared against an abridged version of a situational judgment test assessing practical intelligence, the Tacit Knowledge Inventory for Managers (TKIM; Wagner and Sternberg, 1991). After controlling for PSI total scores and charisma, the TKIM provided a modest contribution to the prediction of supervisor ratings of overall performance. Implications of these findings and directions for future research are provided.

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