Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version

Winter 1992


Communication Quarterly 40:1 (Winter 1992), pp. 1–15.

doi: 10.1080/01463379209369816


Copyright © 1992 Eastern Communication Association; published by Taylor and Francis. Used by permission.


This research examined the extent to which organizational membership, centralization of authority, and subordinates’ perceptions of supervisory relationship quality affected how frequently they report using different types of tactics in their upward influence attempts. Participants from five different organizations were surveyed. A typology of upward influence tactics was created based on the extent to which: (1) the means employed to attempt influence are open or closed, and (2) the desired outcomes are openly expressed or left undisclosed. The resulting dependent variable consisted of three types of tactics: open upward influence, strategic upward influence, and political upward influence. MANOVA results indicated that while organizational membership, centralization of authority, and leader-member exchange all significantly affect upward influence tactic choices, organizational membership explains more variance than do the other two independent variables.