Date of Degree

2-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor

Harold Goldstein

Committee Members

Lise Saari

Robert Silzer

Charles Scherbaum

Zhiqing Zhou

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology | Organization Development

Keywords

influence, organizational citizenship behavior, team-member exchange, social identity theory, US, group norms, task interdependence

Abstract

Social or interpersonal influence has been widely studied in both social and organizational psychology, however no research to date has examined how perceptions of one’s ability to influence their coworkers impacts work-related attitudes and behavior. Experimental work in lab settings provides evidence that successfully influencing others consistently leads to increased helping behavior (Bruno, 2013; Bruno et al., 2008; Sywulak, Sommer & Bourgeois, 2013), but the relationship between influence and helping has not been studied in an organizational setting. Further, while several mediating mechanisms have been tested, how perceived influence leads to helping is still unknown. I present a study that attempted to model how the perceived ability to influence one’s coworkers can lead to helping at in the work environment, conceptualized as organizational citizenship behavior (OCB). I argued that perceived influence over coworkers can lead to OCB through social processes, specifically social exchange and social identification, to impact specific types of OCB. Some support was found for these relationships, indicating that perceived influence over others is as an important construct in organizational life and that social processes mediate the relationship between influence and helping.

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