Refining the Concept of Political Will: A Gender Perspective


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While politics are known to be prevalent at managerial levels, there is currently little insight into what drives managers to engage in organizational politics and whether there are gender differences in this respect. In the current study we explore the concept of political will by using a qualitative approach based on 14 semi-structured interviews with managers (five men and nine women) in a global semiconductor company. We identify key dimensions of managerial political will consisting of three attitudinal ambivalences: functional, ethical and emotional. We also examine gender differences along these dimensions and discuss managers' political will in the context of a masculine organizational setting. We conclude by discussing the theoretical and practical implications of the findings and further research directions.