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Title: Remove the mask : a relational perspective on the effects of authenticity on work-related interpersonal outcomes
Authors: Tang, Yipeng
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: People are encouraged both to be true to self and to regulate self to fit in society. It comes as a practical and intriguing question whether employees need to wear a mask or remove it in the workplace. To address the issue, we set out to explore socio-relational consequences of authenticity in the workplace, specifically, to investigate how authenticity influence social acceptance and how the acceptance is further translated into work-related interpersonal outcomes. Drawing on behavioral script theory, we hypothesized a facilitating effect of a focal employee's authenticity on coworkers' acceptance to him/her among a work team, and proposed three moderators to the effect, which are the coworkers' belief of social complexity, organizational politics of the work team, and the employee's Machiavellian personality. In addition, we postulated that coworkers' acceptance can bring an extensive influence on the focal employee's work-related experience in the workplace. Three studies were employed test the hypothesized model. In Study one, a relatively small sample (7 teams, 28 individuals, 97 dyads) were recruited to establish the measure of perceived authenticity and to preliminarily explore the hypothesized effects. Focusing on behavioral manifestation of authenticity, we measure employees' authenticity perceived by their coworkers. In Study two, 195 teachers from 47 subject teams, producing 615 dyads, were employed to comprehensively examine the research model. In Study three, 151 employees from 45 work teams, generating 343 dyads, were further recruited to replicate and validate the findings of Study 1 and 2. Across the three studies, the results consistently suggested that a focal employee's authenticity increase coworkers' acceptance of the employee in a work team. And, coworkers' acceptance was found to be positively associated with coworkers' helping behavior towards him/her, his/her social status in the team, coworkers' exchange with him/her and supervisor's reward recommendations for him/her. Meanwhile, this facilitating effect of authenticity was moderated by coworker's perceived organizational politics or the focal employee's Machiavellianism such that the effect is weaker when the coworkers perceive the work context as political or when the focal employee is a Machiavellian person. However, among the three moderators, the effect of coworkers' social complexity consistently failed to be supported. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings were then discussed.
Subjects: Psychology, Industrial.
Interpersonal relations.
Interpersonal communication.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: x, 203 pages : illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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