Middle of the road: the effects of political ideology on social status perceptions of and by political moderates in organisations

Teng Zhang, Andrew T. Soderberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Drawing on research in the social psychology and political science literatures, this research aims to examine how political moderates perceive, and are perceived by, their co-workers with differing political ideologies in an organisational context, with a focus on the perceptions of social status. Design/methodology/approach: To test the hypotheses regarding the social status perceptions of and by political moderates in the workplace, the authors conducted an online experiment in which working adults read a hypothetical workplace scenario and then assessed the social status of a co-worker based on the political ideology of that co-worker. Findings: The results largely supported the two hypothesised asymmetries of social perceptions of and by political moderates in an organisational context. Specifically, political moderates were perceived to have higher social status by their moderate and conservative co-workers than by their liberal co-workers. In addition, political moderates perceived moderate co-workers to have higher social status than conservative ones. Originality/value: This research investigates the influence of political ideology on social status perceptions in organisations by focusing on the previously underexamined political moderates. The findings illustrate the importance of political moderates, who tend to espouse a moderate level of resistance to social change, in the process of developing a functional hierarchy and balancing change and stability in organisations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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