How Contextual and Individual Characteristics Influence Psychological Needs Satisfaction: The Critical Roles of Political Skill and Political Will

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This two-study research package investigates the interactive effects of perceptions of organizational politics, political skill, and political will on psychological need satisfaction, which has been shown to predict a number of different important organizational outcomes. Drawing primarily on social/political influence and self-determination theories, we propose that although perceptions of organizational politics (i.e., as an important situational or contextual variable) can demonstrate need-thwarting effects for some, its effects can be need-satisfying for those individuals with high levels of political skill and political will. In Study 1, we analyze a sample of 142 individuals to demonstrate that possessing political skill attenuates the negative effects of perceptions of organizational politics on psychological need satisfaction. In Study 2, we analyze a sample of 420 individuals to demonstrate that respondents with high levels of both political skill and political will experience their highest levels of need satisfaction in highly political environments. Theoretical contributions, limitations and future research directions, and practical implications are discussed.