Measuring Ingratiatory Behaviors in Organizational Settings


Measuring Ingratiatory Behaviors in Organizational Settings (MIBOS), developed by Kumar and Beyerlein (1991), uses 24 items to assess the fre­quency with which employees use four types of ingratiatory behaviors in superior-subordinate relationships. The types of ingratiatory behaviors are opinion conformity, other enhancement, favor rendering, and self­ presentation. Opinion conformity covers behaviors such as agreeing with the supervisor’s opinions and judgments and mimicking a supervisor’s behaviors. Other enhancement covers finding ways to communicate that emphasize the supervisor’s strengths, virtues, and qualities while ignoring negative attributes. Favor rendering covers actions such as doing favors for a supervisor to create the obligation to reciprocate. Self-presentation covers making explicit verbal statements of one’s own attributes. The items can also be combined into a single measure of ingratiatory behaviors in an organiza­tion (Kumar & Beyerlein, 1991).


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .56 to .79 for opinion conformity, .74 to .84 for other enhancement, .72 to .86 for favor rendering, and .73 to .77 for self-presentation (Harrison, Hochwarter, Perrewe, & Ralston, 1998; Kacmar & Valle, 1997). Coefficient alpha values for the single combined measure of ingratiatory behaviors single measure ranged from .86 to .93 (Harrison et al., 1998; Kacmar & Valle, 1997; Kumar & Beyerlein, 1991).


The four dimensions (other enhancement, favor rendering, self-preservation, and opinion conformity) were all positively intercorrelated. Favor rendering behavior correlated positively with influential reasoning, bargaining skills, assertiveness, higher authority, interpersonal skills, liking, and perceived similarity with manager (Harrison et al., 1998). Self-presentation behavior correlated positively with influential reasoning, bargaining skills, and asser­tiveness (Wayne, Liden, Graf, & Ferris, 1997). The combined MIBOS cor­ related positively with self-monitoring, need for power, internal locus of control, and alternative measures of the use of upward influence in organi­zations (Harrison et al., 1998; Kumar & Beyerlein, 1991). Kumar and Beyerlein (1991) found that the MIBOS based on combining the items into a single measure had small positive correlations with the use of rational persuasuion tactics, suggesting the concepts are empirically distinct.

Kacmar and Valle (1997) tried but could not replicate the factor struc­ture using either exploratory or confirmatory analysis. Harrison et al. (1998) also could not obtain acceptable fit with either one-dimension or four­ dimension confirmatory factor analysis models.


Kumar, K., & Beyerlein, M. (1991). Construction and validation of an instrument for measuring ingratiatory behaviors in organizational settings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 619-627. Items were taken from Table 2


623. Copyright © 1991 by the American Psychological Association. Reprinted with permission.

Responses are obtained using a 5-point Likert-type scale where 1 = never do it, 2 = seldom do it, 3 = occasionally do it, 4 = often do it, and 5 = almost always do it.

Opinion conformity items:

  1. Show him/her that you share his/her enthusiasm about his/her new idea even when you may not actually like it
  2. Give frequent smiles to express enthusiasm/interest about something he/she is interested in even if you do not like it
  3. Express work attitudes that are similar to your supervisor’s as a way of letting him/her know that the two of you are alike
  4. Disagree on trivial or unimportant issues but agree on those issues in which he/she expects support from you
  5. Try to imitate such work behaviors of your supervisor as working late or occasionally working on weekends
  6. Let your supervisor know the attitudes you share with him/her
  7. Laugh heartily at your supervisor’s jokes even when they are not really funny

Other enhancement items:

  1. Impress upon your supervisor that only he/she can help you in a given situation mainly to make him/her to feel good about himself/ herself
  2. Highlight the achievements made under his/her leadership in a meeting not being attended by him/her
  3. Tell him/her that you can learn a lot from his/her experience
  4. Exaggerate his/her admirable qualities to convey the impression that you think highly of him/her
  5. Ask your supervisor for advice in areas in which he/she thinks he/she is smart to let him/her feel that you admire his/her talent
  6. Look out for opportunities to admire your supervisor
  7. Compliment your supervisor on his/her achievement however trivial it may actually be to you personally

Favor rendering items:

  1. Try to do things for your supervisor that show your selfless generosity
  2. Go out of your way to run an errand for your supervisor
  3. Offer to help your supervisor by offering to use your personal contacts
  4. Volunteer to be of help to your supervisor in matters like locating a

good apartment, finding a good insurance agent, and so on

  1. Spend time listening to your supervisor’s personal problems even if you have no interest in them
  2. Volunteer to help your supervisor in his/her work even if it means extra work for you

Self-preservation items:

  1. Try to let him/her know that you have a reputation for being liked
  2. Try to make sure that he/she is aware of your successes
  3. Look for opportunities to let the supervisor know your virtues/ strengths
  4. Try to persuasively present your own qualities when attempting to convince your supervisor about your abilities

This content is licensed under a CC-BY license. The CC-BY licenses grant rights of use the scales in your studies (the measurement instrument and its documentation), but do not replace copyright. This remains with the copyright holder, and you have to cite us as the source.

Mohammed Looti, PSYCHOLOGICAL SCALES (2023) Measuring Ingratiatory Behaviors in Organizational Settings. Retrieved from DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31575.96163