When can display of authenticity at work facilitate coworker interactions? The moderating effect of perception of organizational politics

Yipeng Tang, Erica Xu, Xu Huang, Xiaoping Pu*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Authenticity has long been held as a virtue. However, is it beneficial for employees to be true to themselves in coworker interactions? Drawing on social penetration theory, we argue that a focal employee’s exhibited authenticity at work helps the employee penetrate the interpersonal boundaries of an interacting coworker and as a result, the employee is more likely to be included in this coworker’s social circles and receive help from the coworker. Accordingly, we propose a dyadic-level model and test this model in two survey studies using a round-robin design. The results of both studies consistently demonstrated that the focal employee’s exhibited authenticity is positively related to help received from the coworker via inclusion in the coworker’s social circle. Further, this positive indirect relationship is moderated by the coworker’s perception of organizational politics, such that the relationship is weaker when the coworker’s perception of organizational politics is high. These findings help advance the understanding of when and how employees can gain relational benefits from displaying authenticity at work.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)27-52
    Number of pages26
    JournalHuman Relations
    Volume76
    Issue number1
    Early online date27 Jun 2021
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Social Sciences(all)
    • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
    • Management of Technology and Innovation
    • Strategy and Management

    User-Defined Keywords

    • coworker interactions
    • exhibited authenticity
    • perception of organizational politics
    • received help
    • social inclusion

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