Political Dissimilarity Effects at Work during U.S. Elections: A Dynamic Perspective



Diversity and dissimilarity research has paid little attention to the consequences of political belief differences in the workplace. This oversight seems surprising, given the polarized political landscapes in many Western societies that may significantly alter organizational behavior. During the 2020 United States presidential election, we conducted an experience sampling study on 147 employees across ten consecutive workdays. We examined the relationships between political dissimilarity and trajectories of experienced interpersonal conflict at work using a discontinuous growth curve modeling approach. The findings revealed that an individual’s perceived political dissimilarity had no significant impact on interpersonal conflict before the election day. However, the effect became significant on the election day and remained present for six days of the observed post-election period. A similar pattern of results was observed for work engagement. Taken together, our study reveals political identity as a critical but under-explored dimension of workplace dissimilarity that becomes salient with political macro events. Thereby, we offer novel insights into spillover effects of political macro events on organizational behavior and advance dissimilarity research from a multilevel-dynamic perspective.

Zoom link: https://eur-nl.zoom.us/j/96719659668 

Meeting ID: 967 1965 9668