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Appraisals of self and situation as determinants of upward influencing tactics


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Susan A. Geertshuis, Graduate School of Management, Business School, University of Auckland, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1142, New Zealand. E-mail:


This study considers subordinate upward influencing as a proactive behavior and applies this lens to an investigation into the contributions of appraisals of self and situation in predicting tactic choice. One hundred seventy-eight employees assessed the frequency with which they used influencing tactics in interactions with their direct line manager. The results indicated that favorable appraisals of self were associated with increased use of rationality and unfavorable appraisal of situation were associated with increased the use of ingratiation, assertiveness, and upward appeal. While the use of rationality could be explained within approaches to positive proactive work behaviors, the use of the remaining five tactics could not. The results are interpreted within a wider perspective of proactive discretionary behaviors.