Seniority usually refers to tenure and age in enterprises. It is an objective criterion. Employees are given higher status passively depending on the growth of seniority. Generally speaking, resources scarcity and discretion in resources allocation may lead to organizational politics. Employees’ perceptions of organizational politics may bring negative effects to organizations. As an objective criterion, seniority almost eliminates subjective judgment on allocating resources to a large extent, which is accepted by employees as a fair method. But whether seniority-based allocation system can ease the perceptions of organizational politics and reduce employees’ workplace deviance has not been explored. To address this question, this paper explores the effect of seniority-based HR practice on workplace deviance and mediating role of perceptions of organizational politics. Seniority-based HR practice refers to practice of allocating resources based on employees’ seniority. Giving priority to seniority, employees have different responsibilities and obligations respectively according to their seniority. This constrains employees’ behaviors and encourages employees to comply with organizational norms. Accordingly, it explores whether seniority-based HR practice can reduce employees’ workplace deviance. Based on this, we further explore the mediating role of perceptions of organizational politics between seniority-based HR practice and workplace deviance. Under the constraints of seniority, employees are given higher status passively depending on the growth of years. They can not engage in politicking to meet their needs. Therefore, seniority-based HR practice may relieve employees’ perceptions of organizational politics and make them behave conservatively, which may prompt employees to reduce workplace deviance. Using the data from 918 employees and their immediate supervisors in 48 firms, we perform multilevel analysis to test the research model and find most of the hypotheses are supported. First, the results indicate that seniority-based HR practice is negatively related to workplace deviance. Second, seniority-based HR practice is positively related to the perceptions of keeping silence to wait for benefits, and is negatively related to the perceptions of general political behavior and the perceptions of pay and promotion policies. Finally, results partially support the mediating model. A significant indirect effect is found from the seniority-based HR practice to workplace deviance via perceptions of keeping silence to wait for benefits, but not via perceptions of general political behavior and perceptions of pay and promotion politics. This paper contributes to the existing literature in three aspects. Firstly, it shows the positive effect of seniority-based HR practice on workplace deviance, which proves the value of seniority-based HR practice and provides a theoretical basis for the rationalization of indigenous human resources practice. Secondly, it indicates different effects of seniority-based HR practice on different dimensions of perceptions of organizational politics in Chinese context, which proves the cross-cultural differences of perceptions of organizational politics. Finally, by analyzing the mediating effect of perceptions of organizational politics, it argues that the effect of seniority-based HR practice on workplace deviance is mainly via individual internalization of ethics and value, rather than the perceptions of other employees’ behaviors. This conclusion extends the understanding of the effect of seniority-based HR practice.
The Effect of Seniority-based HR Practice on Workplace Deviance: The Mediating Role of Perceptions of Organizational Politics
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 40, Issue 02, pp. 68 - 81 (2018) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2018.02.005
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Cite this article
Wu Kunjin, Liu Shanshi, Wang Hongli. The Effect of Seniority-based HR Practice on Workplace Deviance: The Mediating Role of Perceptions of Organizational Politics[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2018, 40(2): 68-81.