Organization Management Journal


Scholars have argued for the importance of motive attributions in supervisors’ reactions and subsequent decisions about their subordinates’ organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs). However, research examining models of attributions of OCBs have not considered the role of individual skill and relationship quality. The purpose of this two-experiment study is to examine the impact of subordinate political skill and leader–member exchange (LMX) on the attributions supervisors make of their subordinates’ OCBs and how these attributions affect subordinate performance ratings. Results from experiment 1 (n = 195) indicate that subordinates who are highly politically skilled and in high-quality relationships receive more favorable, other-serving attributions, which are related to higher evaluations of performance. Additionally, results from experiment 2 (n = 175) indicate that political skill may be a more potent contributor to motive attributions than LMX.