Date of this Version
Southern Communication Journal 59:3 (1994), pp. 215–226.
This research examined the effects of centralization of authority on employees’ perceptions of the likelihood of attempting upward influence and their perceptions of supervisory trust and leader-member exchange. Three hundred and sixty-two employees from five different organizations responded to a questionnaire that assessed perceptions of centralization, attitudes toward upward influence, leader-member exchange, and supervisory trust. Consistent with earlier formulations, centralization was operationalized as perceptions of participation in decision making and job autonomy (Hage, 1980; Hage & Aiken, 1967). Results revealed that both job autonomy and participation in decision making significantly affect subordinates’ attitudes toward attempting upward influence and the levels of trust and leader-member exchange they report concerning their supervisory relationship. The results are used to support the argument that centralization of authority acts as a structuring process in organizations to the extent that it constrains and most likely sustains variation in supervisory relational quality and attitudes toward attempting upward influence.