The influence of political climate on job pursuit intentions and the moderating effect of Machiavellianism

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Job seekers now have access to a number of internet resources (e.g., social media, chat rooms, and message boards) that provide information about potential employers. These resources provide potential job applicants with extensive amounts of third-party information about organizations, including information about the extent to which a particular organization's climate can be characterized as being political. Unfortunately, owing to a dearth of research on this topic, it is unclear to what extent such information about an organization's political climate might affect the recruiting process. Therefore, drawing from the Attraction-Selection-Attrition model, we considered the extent to which potential job applicants are less (more) likely to pursue jobs in organizations that are perceived as more (less) political. We further identified Machiavellianism as a potential moderator of this relationship, given that this trait reflects the extent to which an individual would “fit” into a highly political work environment. Across three studies, our findings provide evidence that job applicants report being less likely to pursue jobs in organizations characterized by high levels of workplace politics. The results further indicated that Machiavellianism attenuates this negative effect. In light of our findings, we discuss implications for how information that is not controlled by the organization (e.g., information provided by social media or other internet-based sources) affects job pursuit intentions and the organization's applicant pool.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

International Journal of Selection and Assessment