Mitigating influence of transcendence on politics perceptions’ negative effects

Diane Lawong, Charn McAllister, Gerald R. Ferris, Wayne Hochwarter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine how a cognitive process, transcendence, moderates the relationship between perceptions of organizational politics (POPs) and several work outcomes. Design/methodology/approach: Participants across two studies (Study 1: 187 student-recruited working adults; Study 2: 158 information technology employees) provided a demographically diverse sample for the analyses. Key variables were transcendence, POPs, job satisfaction, job tension, emotional exhaustion, work effort, and frustration. Findings: Results corroborated the hypotheses and supported the authors’ argument that POPs lacked influence on work outcomes when individuals possessed high levels of transcendence. Specifically, high levels of transcendence attenuated the decreases in job satisfaction and work effort associated with POPs. Additionally, transcendence acted as an antidote to several workplace ills by weakening the increases in job tension, emotional exhaustion, and frustration usually associated with POPs. Research limitations/implications: This study found that transcendence, an individual-level cognitive style, can improve work outcomes for employees in workplaces where POPs exist. Future studies should use longitudinal data to study how changes in POPs over time affect individuals’ reported levels of transcendence. Practical implications: Although it is impossible to eliminate politics in organizations, antidotes like transcendence can improve individuals’ responses to POPs. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to utilize an individual-level cognitive style to examine possible options for attenuating the effects of POPs on individuals’ work outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-195
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 10 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Attitudes
  • Cognition
  • Conflict management
  • Emotions
  • Organizational politics
  • Politics perceptions
  • Proactivity
  • Resources
  • Self-regulation
  • Sensemaking
  • Transcendence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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