Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





Charles Scherbaum

Committee Members

Harold Goldstein

Zhiqing Zhou

Yochi Cohen-Charash

Jason Dahling

Subject Categories

Industrial and Organizational Psychology


performance management, performance appraisal, political ideology, contextual performance


The ability to keep politics out of daily organizational life has been severely eroded. With the increasing polarization in American politics and ubiquitous use of social media to express political positions, negative attributions are being made of individuals holding different political positions. Due to its pervasive nature, it is important to understand how politics impacts organizationally relevant decisions that supervisors and others make as a routine part of their jobs. This study examined the influence of similarity and dissimilarity in political affiliation between a rater and ratee on performance judgments. To examine the relationship between political affiliation similarity and performance evaluations, the study employed an experimental design in which the political affiliation of a ratee is manipulated between subjects via social media posts within an in-basket, managerial simulation. Interaction effects of political identification and research questions regarding contextual performance were also examined. Results revealed that political affiliation similarity and dissimilarity does impact performance ratings when political affiliation of the ratee is directly disclosed (i.e., I am voting Democrat, I am voting Republican). Further, it was found that political affiliation similarity between the rater and ratee led to more positive ratings of task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors and ratings of less counter productive work behaviors. With this, the findings may be leveraged for our limited understanding of how political affiliation impacts the day-to-day work context and that it should considered in future research and practice on performance judgements.