Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale

Kacmar, K. M., and Carlson, D. W. (1997). Further validation of the Perceptions of Politics (POPS): A multiple sample investigation. Journal of Management 23:627–58.

Comments: The revised 15-item Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale (POPS) assesses the following three areas that were identified in the original study: general political behavior, go along to get ahead, and pay and promotion policies. A brief description about the development and construct validation of the original 12-item POPS is included. The results of three additional studies are presented.

Scale Construction: The first study examined the dimensionality of the POPS. The second study focused on an analysis of each individual item through factor analyses and mean scores. The third study consisted of developing new items and then examining them in terms of content adequacy, content analysis, and factor analysis.

Sample: There were 749 respondents from a large state agency in Study 1. The sample for Study 2 consisted of: 466 workers from an electronic cooperative; 581 human resource professionals; 220 nonfaculty workers; and an additional 320 workers. The sample for Study 3 consisted of 123 members of the Society for Human Resource Management and 182 college students.

Reliability: The internal reliability for the original 12-item POPS in Study 1 was 0.87. The internal reliability for the original 12-item POPS in Study 2 for the four samples ranged from 0.86 to 0.89. The internal reliability for the 20- item POPS in Study 3 was 0.81.

Validity: Study 2 provides evidence for convergent and discriminant validity.

Factor Analysis: A principal components factor analysis with an oblimin rotation was conducted on all four groups in Study 2. Although the results of the factor analysis yielded a three-factor solution that was consistent with the original study, only two items loaded sufficiently on each of the three factors. Another principal components factor analysis with an oblimin rotation was conducted in Study 3 to determine which of the 14 new items would be included. The following three-factor solution was accepted: general political behavior (1 and 2); go along to get ahead (3 through 9); and pay and promotion policies (10 through 15).

Data Analysis: Means and standard deviations are presented. Item loadings, squared multiple correlations, chi-square, goodness-of-fit, normed fit index, comparative fit index, and parsimony fit index are reported for Study 1 and Study Item analysis, content adequacy, and means are included for Study 2.


Kacmar, K. M., and Ferris, G. R. (1991). Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale (POPS): Development and construct validation. Educational and Psychological Measurement 51:193–205.

Medsker, G. J., et al. (1994). A review of current practices for evaluating causal models in organizational behavior and human re- sources management research. Journal of Management 20:439–64.

Nye, L. G., and Witt, L. A. (1993). Dimensionality and construct validity of the perceptions of politics scales (POPS). Educational and Psychological Measurement 53:821–29.

Perceptions of Politics Survey

1. People in this organization attempt to build themselves up by tearing others down.
2. There has always been an influential group in this department that no one ever crosses.
3. Employees are encouraged to speak out frankly even when they are critical of well-established ideas.
4. There is no place for yes-men around here; good ideas are desired even if it means disagreeing with superiors.
5. Agreeing with powerful others is the best alternative in this organization.
6. It is best not to rock the boat in this organization.

7. Sometimes it is easier to remain quiet than to fight the system.
8. Telling others what they want to hear is sometimes better than telling the truth.
9. It is safer to think what you are told than to make up your own mind.
10. Since I have worked in this department, I have never seen the pay and promotion policies applied politically.
11. I can’t remember when a person received a pay increase or promotion that was inconsistent with the published policies.
12. None of the raises I have received are consistent with the policies on how raises should be determined.
13. The stated pay and promotion policies have nothing to do with how pay raises and promotions are determined.
14. When it comes to pay raise and promotion decisions, policies are irrelevant.
15. Promotions around here are not valued much because how they are determined is so political.

Scoring: A five-point scale ranges from Strongly Disagree (1) to Strongly Agree (5).