Table of Contents

Handbook of Organizational Politics

Handbook of Organizational Politics

SECOND EDITION Looking Back and to the Future

Research Handbooks in Business and Management series

Edited by Eran Vigoda-Gadot and Amos Drory

The Handbook of Organizational Politics offers a broad perspective on the intriguing phenomena of power, influence and politics in the modern workplace; their meaning for individuals, groups and other organizational stakeholders; and their effect on organizational outcomes and performances. Comprising entirely of new chapters and insights, this second edition revisits the theory on organizational politics (OP) and examines its progress and changes in emphasis in recent years. This timely and informative book provides a comprehensive set of state-of–the-art studies on workplace politics based on experiences from around the world. The contributors highlight topics such as political skills, political will, politics and leadership, compensations, politics and performance, and politics and learning climate.

Chapter 4: Political is the new prosocial: leaders’ support of followers through political behavior

B. Parker Ellen III, Gerald R. Ferris and M. Ronald Buckley

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour, organisation studies


Given that organizations have been classified as political arenas, and that political will and skill are necessary for managerial success, leaders often must behave politically in order to succeed within organizational environments. However, despite a growing body of work on leader political skill, relatively little research has addressed the actual political behavior of leaders. Explanations for this gap in the leadership and organizational politics literatures have focused on the apparent paradox between the other-centered concept of leadership and the self-interested nature of political behavior. Recently, leader political support, which captures leaders’ political behavior on behalf of others (i.e. their followers), has been introduced in effort to address this gap. In this chapter, we extend conceptual thinking on leader political support, and argue that it can be considered a form of prosocial leader behavior. Following a brief overview of the construct, and an explanation of the characteristics that link it to forms of prosocial behavior, we use existing research on prosocial motivation to explore the possible motives for leaders’ political behavior in support of followers before offering some potential avenues for future inquiry. We hope this broadened perspective on leaders’ political behavior will inspire additional future research on leader political support.

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