Date of Conferral

2017

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

David Bouvin

Abstract

Ingratiation is a deceptive, psychological tactic subordinates use to convince their supervisors to treat them better than other subordinates. Subordinate ingratiation is relatively well-known, but the concept of a manager promoting and encouraging ingratiative behaviors to subordinates is less common and seen as uncommonly deceptive. Little is known about how managers feel about ingratiation why any manager would encourage it. The purpose of this study was to explore how people in management positions percieve manager-encouraged ingratiation. Research questions addressed how people in management positions might respond to a scenario wherein a manager encouraged a subordinate employee to act out ingratiation. The qualitative method was used to examine an environment in which experienced subjects could describe their perceptions about an uncommon behavioral issue in management practice. Fourteen Retired Air National Guard commanders listened to vignettes based on managers who encouraged subordinate ingratiation, and answered open-ended, vignette-based, interview questions. Matrix tables were used to analyze the data through content analyses with emotion and in vivo coding. Results inferred that managers question the ethics behind the specified behavior, but they believe that political and managerial skill can help ethically align ingratiation with organizational objectives. These results can prepare managers and scholars to recognize, discuss, and mitigate ingratiation, or, if appropriate, to accept it. Positive social change is promoted by building a sense of community and citizenship within the workplace, on to employees' neighborhoods and communities, and progressing on a global scale through cooperation among affiliated organizations.