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A Predictive Investigation of Reputation as Mediator of the Political-Skill/Career-Success Relationship


  • The authors express their gratitude to the German Research Foundation (DFG), which supported this research (Az: Bl 385, 6-2).

Gerhard Blickle, Arbeits-, Organizations- und Wirtschaftspsychologie, Institut fuer Psychologie, Universitaet Bonn, Kaiser-Karl-Ring 9, 53111 Bonn, Germany. E-mail:


Career success is determined by a number of factors, including some combination of specific competencies and a performance record, along with network development, organizational politics, and reputation building. Theory and research suggest that employees' political skill predicts their career success, and that this relationship is mediated by employees' reputation in the workplace. These hypotheses were tested in a predictive study, collecting 2 waves of data from 135 career employees, covering a 1-year timeframe. Political skill at Time 1 predicted hierarchical position, income, and career satisfaction at Time 2. Furthermore, reputation mediated the relationships between political skill, hierarchical position, and career satisfaction. Contributions, implications, limitations, strengths, and future research directions are discussed.