Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale


The Perceptions of Organizational Politics Scale (POPS), developed by Kacmar and Ferris (1991), assesses employee perceptions of the extent to which a job setting is political in nature including politics in the organiza­ tion, behavior of supervisors, and actions of co-workers. Twelve items are used in the measure to describe general political behavior, political behavior to “get ahead,” and ambiguity in pay and promotion policies and rules.


Coefficient alpha values ranged from .87 to .91 (Cropanzano et al., 1997; Kacmar, 1999; Kacmar & Ferris, 1991).


Perceived organizational politics correlated negatively with perceived orga­nizational support, job satisfaction, and job involvement. Perceived organi­zational politics correlated positively with turnover intentions (Cropanzano et al., 1997; Kacmar, 1999; Kacmar & Ferris, 1991).

Kacmar and Ferris (1991) factor analyzed the POPS items with the items of the Job Descriptive Index (JDI). The politics items loaded on a single factor separate from the JDI items.


Kacmar, K. M., & Ferris, G. R. (1991). Perceptions of Organizational Poli­ tics Scale (POPS): Development and construct validation. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 51, 193-205. Copyright© 1991 by Sage Publi­ cations, Inc. Items were taken from Table 3, p. 203. Reprinted by permission of Sage Publications, Inc.


Responses are obtained using a 5-point Likert-type scale where 1 = strongly disagree and 5 = strongly agree.

General political behavior items:

  1. One group always gets their way.
  2. Influential group no one crosses.
  3. Policy changes help only a few
  4. Build themselves up by tearing others down
  5. Favoritism not merit gets people ahead.
  6. Don’t speak up for fear of retaliation.

Get ahead items:

  1. Promotions go to top performers (R)
  2. Rewards come to hard workers (R)
  3. Encouraged to speak out (R)
  4. No place for yes men (R)

Pay and promotion policies items:

  1. Pay and promotion policies are not politically applied
  2. Pay and promotion decisions are consistent with policies Items denoted with (R) are reverse