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Purpose – The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of subordinates' perceived supervisor political support (SPS) as a boundary condition capable of attenuating individuals' negative reactions to politics perceptions. Design/methodology/approach – Data for this three-sample investigation were obtained from employees of a package distribution firm (n=144), employees of an engineering firm (n=187), and individuals attending a manufacturing-related professional conference (n=174). Data were analyzed using hierarchical moderated regression analyses. Findings – Consistent with prior research, individuals' politics perceptions were directly associated with less than desirable workplace outcomes. However, individuals' who perceived their supervisors to provide them with SPS were less negatively affected by politics perceptions than their peers who perceived low levels of SPS. Research limitations/implications – SPS appears to provide information to subordinates to aid in sensemaking such that they are better able to deal with requisite uncertainty associated with their political settings, and in doing so, SPS shifts their perceptions of the political environment from that of threat to potential benefit. Originality/value – This investigation in one of a handful of studies to examine the other-benefitting role of political behavior as well as the conditions under which politics perceptions result in auspicious outcomes. Additionally, the manuscript is unique in that it introduces, conceptually delineates, and empirically evaluates a more active, behavioral form of supervisory support (i.e. SPS).

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Journal Article

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