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A Social Influence Analysis of Perceived Organizational Support

This dissertation examined the effects of social influence on employees perceptions of organizational support (POS). An important characteristic of POS is that it reflects an employees subjective evaluation of the treatment he or she receives from the organization. Employees interactions with their coworkers, then, may have an important influence on their POS. As a result, the development of POS may be a social process rather than solely an intrapsychic one. However, the majority of POS research has focused on how an individual employees personal experiences with an organization affect his/her POS and largely ignored social factors.
To address this gap in the literature, I argue that advice ties between employees will be related to similarity in POS because they serve as a source of social information. Friendship ties, on the other hand, will result in similarity in POS because they are utilized for social comparison. Finally, role model ties will result in similarity in POS because employees learn from the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of others they respect and admire. In addition, I explored the differential effects of strong and weak ties and muliplex versus simplex ties on similarity in POS. My expectation was that strong ties and multiplex ties would be more influential than weak ties and simplex ties. Finally, I explored the effects reciprocated and non-reciprocated ties with the expectation that reciprocated ties would be more highly associated with POS because they are characterized by information sharing.
Social network methods were utilized to test hypotheses among 93 admissions department employees at a university in the eastern United States. Results indicated that when reciprocated ties were considered, employees tended to have POS that are similar to those of their strong role model ties, strong advice-role model ties, and strong friend-advice-role model ties. However, when reciprocity was not a requirement for strong ties between employees, only strong friend-advice-role model ties were related to similarity in POS. This pattern of results suggests that strong, multiplex ties in which two-way information sharing occured were more likely to lead to similarity in POS. Implications were drawn from these findings, and suggestions for future research were made.
Date04 May 2006
CreatorsZagenczyk, Thomas J
ContributorsStacy Blake-Beard, Ph.D, Donna J. Wood, Ph.D, Brian S. Butler, Ph.D, Josephine E. Olson, Ph.D, Audrey J. Murrell, Ph.D
PublisherUniversity of Pittsburgh
Source SetsUniversity of Pittsburgh
Detected LanguageEnglish
Rightsunrestricted, I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dissertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to University of Pittsburgh or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report.

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