Public Organization Review

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 495–508 | Cite as

When Engagement Meets Politics: Analysis of a Brazilian Public Institution

  • Romulo Matos de Moraes
  • Aridelmo José Campanharo Teixeira


Perception of organizational politics (POP) is usually associated with counterproductive factors. The reason for this stigma is that generally when employees perceive self-interest actions or backstage manoeuvres, they identify obstacles to their careers. On the other hand, the concept work engagement represents physical, cognitive and emotional factors from its dimensions (vigor, dedication and absorption) that can connect employees to their jobs. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the dimensions of work engagement and perceptions of organizational politics in a public institution. Data were collected from 847 employees of a public educational institution, followed by a hierarchical cluster analysis to characterize groups with high and low work engagement scores. Multiple linear regressions were performed for each cluster. It was found that in the low engagement group, the three constructs’ dimensions were negatively related to POP. In the high engagement group there was no negative relationship between those two concepts, but a positive association between dedication and perception of politics was found. The results show evidence that highly engaged civil servants do not identify politics as an obstacle to their career development. The study also suggests that POP level is high in public educational institutions.


Work engagement Perception of politics Groups Civil servants 



This study was supported by a Ifes institutional training program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Romulo Matos de Moraes
    • 1
  • Aridelmo José Campanharo Teixeira
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Administration and PlanningInstituto Federal do Espírito Santo (Ifes)AlegreBrazil
  2. 2.FUCAPE Business SchoolVitóriaBrazil

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