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Although research to date has established the criterion validity of work engagement, little research has examined relevant boundary conditions capable of altering its documented positive effects on important workplace outcomes, despite widespread appeals to do so (e.g. Parker and Griffin, 2011). In the present four-sample investigation, a competing hypotheses format was adopted, pitting against each other perspectives of ‘politics as a hindrance stressor’ and ‘politics as a challenge stressor’ as moderators of work engagement–work outcomes relationships (e.g. job tension, job satisfaction, work intensity, job performance). Cross-sample findings demonstrated that organizational politics perceptions strengthened positive work engagement–work outcomes relationships, such that engaged individuals were less stressed, more satisfied, worked with greater intensity and exhibited greater performance when they perceived their job environments to be political. This series of results affirms the challenge/opportunity stressor properties of politics perceptions for individuals more actively involved in their jobs and workplaces. Cross-disciplinary implications of these results for theory and practice, strengths and limitations, and directions for future research are provided.

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Journal Article

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