The relative importance of political skill dimensions for predicting managerial effectiveness

By Samuel J. Snell
Davidson College

Scott Tonidandel
University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Phillip W. Braddy, John W. Fleenor
Center for Creative Leadership


The present study uses relative weight analysis to garner support for the incremental validity of political skill over more traditional managerial skills for predicting managerial effectiveness and to help identify the underlying theoretical mechanisms driving this relationship. In addition, we explore boundary conditions, in terms of gender and organizational level, where political skill may be more or less critical. Using 199 middle- and upper-level managers enrolled in leadership development programmes and multisource data, the findings supported political skill’s incremental validity over more traditional measures of managerial skills for predicting managerial effectiveness. In addition, two of five political skill dimensions—image management and interpersonal influence—were significantly important predictors of managerial effectiveness, providing support for social influence theory as perhaps the best theoretical model for understanding the political skill-effectiveness relationship. Also, an individual’s gender and level in the organizational hierarchy had significant moderating effects on the relationship between three political skill dimensions and managerial effectiveness.


Snell, S. J., Tonidandel, S., Braddy, P. W., & Fleenor, J. W. (2014). The relative importance of political skill dimensions for predicting managerial effectiveness. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 23(6), 915-929.


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