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Networking behaviours are important for a range of work outcomes. Little empirical evidence of how internal vs external networking behaviours influence job commitment and job performance exists and whether political skills moderate these relationships. Using theories of social capital and personal initiative, this study examines the effect of internal and external networking behaviours on job commitment and job performance in the context of political skills.Design/methodology/approachBased on a sequential mixed-method research design with a four-month time lag, Study 1 data on networking behaviours, political skills and work outcomes were collected via a survey of middle managers and their supervisors from ten private sector organisations operating in Sri Lanka. Study 2 data were collected via interviews of a set of middle managers and their supervisors.FindingsStudy 1 findings indicate a positive relationship between internal networking behaviours and both job commitment and job performance. The authors also found a moderating effect of political skills on internal networking behaviours and job commitment. Study 2 findings explained, strengthened and extended results of Study 1.Practical implicationsMiddle managers can use these research findings to understand how internal networking behaviours improve their job commitment and job performance. These managers can use their political skills and internal networking behaviours to improve their job commitment. They can also advance their career through improved job commitment and job performance. Senior managers and human resource managers should facilitate and encourage internal networking behaviours. Training and development managers should develop middle managers' networking behaviours and political skills.Originality/valueThis study provides pioneering evidence of how internal networking behaviours impact middle managers' job performance and job commitment, and how internal networking behaviours improve job commitment for middle managers with high political skills.
Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 20, 2022
Keywords: Internal networking behaviours; External networking behaviours; Job commitment; Job performance; Political skills
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