Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 235–251 | Cite as

Honesty-Humility and Perceptions of Organizational Politics in Predicting Workplace Outcomes

  • Jocelyn Wiltshire
  • Joshua S. Bourdage
  • Kibeom Lee



The present study sought to examine whether a personality dimension named Honesty-Humility influences the relationship between employees’ perceptions of organizational politics (POP) and workplace outcomes, both attitudinal and behavioral.


Data were collected online and cross-nationally from 268 full-time employees from various organizations and occupational backgrounds.


Results indicate that the adverse effect of POP in the workplace is exacerbated for employees who are lower (rather than higher) in Honesty-Humility. Specifically, when perceiving their workplace as political, low Honesty-Humility individuals were more likely to engage in counterproductive work behavior and impression management behavior and to experience greater job stress and decreased job satisfaction.


Examining the role of individual differences in POP helps to advance our understanding of the mechanisms that employees use to interpret and react within a perceived politically charged workplace. This study provides further evidence of the deleterious effects of POP in the workplace, especially among low Honesty-Humility individuals. Practical implications of this research focus on reducing the likelihood of hiring low Honesty-Humility individuals as well as on reducing the opportunity for undesirable behaviors among currently employed individuals.


There is a paucity of research exploring the possibility that individuals may react differently from one another to POP within their workplace and, in turn, experience varying outcomes. The present study helps to fill this gap in the literature by providing novel insights as to the role of personality in predicting perceptions of, and reactions to, organizational politics.


Perceptions of organizational politics Honesty-Humility Counterproductive work behavior Impression management 



This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grant 410-2011-0089.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jocelyn Wiltshire
    • 1
  • Joshua S. Bourdage
    • 2
  • Kibeom Lee
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Western UniversityLondonCanada

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