The personal initiative paradox: why benevolent political will decreases career growth prospects in a political environment?

Roopa Modem, Sethumadhavan Lakshmi Narayanan, Murugan Pattusamy, Nandan Prabhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study addresses a central research question: Does employees' personal initiative, with a benevolent political will, lead to career growth prospects in a work environment replete with perceived organizational politics? Drawing upon self-determination, signalling, and social cognitive theories, the authors examine how perceptions of organizational politics operate to limit the influence of benevolent political will – induced personal initiative on career growth prospects. Design/methodology/approach: This research adopts a quantitative research design. This multi-wave, multi-sample and multi-source investigation includes 730 subordinate-supervisor dyads from India's information technology, education and manufacturing companies. The sample comprises 236 full-time faculty members from higher educational institutions and 496 mid-level managers from technical and service departments of information technology and manufacturing companies. Findings: The results indicate that benevolent political will is significantly related to career growth prospects. In addition, perceptions of organizational politics shows a crossover interaction effect. The findings reveal that the indirect relationship between benevolent political will and career growth prospects changed significantly from those with a low perception of organizational politics to significantly negative among those perceiving organizational politics as high. Practical implications: This study provides several implications for practice regarding personal initiative, benevolent political will and perceptions of organizational politics. Originality/value: The significant contributions of this study are to provide new insights into the relationship between benevolent political will and career growth prospects and to unravel the paradoxical nature of the personal initiative phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEvidence-based HRM
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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