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A Social Influence Analysis of Perceived Organizational Support

Zagenczyk, Thomas J (2006) A Social Influence Analysis of Perceived Organizational Support. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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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 employee's 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 employee's 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.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Zagenczyk, Thomas
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMurrell, Audrey Jamurrell@katz.pitt.eduAMURRELL
Committee MemberButler, Brian
Committee MemberWood, Donna
Committee MemberOlson, Josephine Ejolson@katz.pitt.eduJOLSON
Committee MemberBlake-Beard,
Date: 4 May 2006
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 24 April 2006
Approval Date: 4 May 2006
Submission Date: 2 May 2006
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business > Business Administration
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: advice ties; employer-employee relationship; friendship ties; perceived organizational support; role models; social influence; social networks
Other ID:, etd-05022006-152124
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:43
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:43


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