Scholars have focused on the negative aspects of organizational politics, defined as self-serving tactics that impede employees’ performance. In contrast, we maintain that organizational politics has positive aspects and moderates the relationship between employee engagement and work performance behaviors such as knowledge sharing, creativity, proactivity and adaptivity. Using data from 253 high-tech employees and their supervisors in Israel, our findings demonstrate that perceptions of organizational politics strengthen the relationship between employee engagement and work performance. When engaged employees perceive their workplace to be political, they are more proactive, creative and adaptive, and more likely to share their knowledge with their peers. These findings confirm the challenge/opportunity stressor theory regarding perceptions of organizational politics and suggest that whether politics is viewed as positive or negative depends on the employees’ point of view. For those who are engaged and more actively involved in their jobs, politics can be regarded as a challenge and even an opportunity for obtaining more resources to improve their performance. Implications for the development of theory and practice in this area are discussed.
Peter Cappelli and Liat Eldor
“Gig” work - electronic-mediated platforms like Uber, leased employment, and contracting - have the common theme that they are actually forms of contracting rather than employment. This raises important challenges for our understanding of them as our models in management are based on employment and the mutual obligations embedded in it that allow employers to direct work but also influence the attitudes of employees. Those obligations do not apply to contracting, and most of the practices of modern management are prohibited by law from being used with contractors. Nevertheless, the discretionary behavior of contractors is increasingly important as they are playing bigger roles in organizations, often alongside regular employees. We consider how that might be done using the construct of employee engagement as the focus.