Perceptions of Organizational Politics: Should Teleworkers Beware?

Research suggests teleworkers and office-based employees, who perform the same role, experience different outcomes. Do teleworkers and office-based employees perceive the same political acts differently?

Drawing from telework and organizational politics literature, this case study of a sales team at Midwest Global Manufacturing (MGM) reviews the perception of organizational politics (POP) and whether office-based employees and teleworkers perceive politics differently. (For summary of current literature on POP see Ferris et al., 2019). The researchers expected teleworkers to perceive organizational politics differently, since the teleworker is remote and misses daily face-to-face interactions. However, after a thorough examination of the case study data, we concluded that in the context of MGM, there was not a difference in POP between office-based employees and teleworkers.
This study is an important contribution because there are limited studies on the difference in POP in work modalities in the politics and teleworking literature (e.g., Elron & Vigoda-Gadot, 2006). Yet, many companies have teleworking policies and a mix of teleworkers and office-based employees. Managers and employees alike may benefit from considering this study to ensure that both teleworkers and office-based workers can universally achieve a positive perception when utilizing the political system.

Authors: Jaime E Peters, William P Butler, Elizabeth Boyle, Andrew Thomas, Gretchen A Decker


Cite as: Peters, J.E., Butler, W.P., Boyle, E., Thomas, A., and Decker, G.A. (2020). Perceptions of organizational politics: Should teleworkers beware? Muma Business Review 4(12). 123-132.