Drawing from the negative impacts of the perception of organizational politics (POP) on the literature on organizational outcomes, the model proposed in this study examines a nonlinear relationship of POP on job satisfaction. In a similar way, ingratiation as a moderator variable is tested. Based on a survey of 240 state-owned enterprise employees in Indonesia, this study finds that POP exhibits an inverted U-shaped relationship with job satisfaction. Low and high levels of POP have a negative impact on job satisfaction. Nevertheless, our most intriguing finding is that ingratiation behavior not only strengthens POP's effects on job satisfaction, but can also alter the direction of the relationship in which its shape is represented by a U-shape. This shape indicates that the employees who engage in high levels of ingratiation as a coping mechanism and adaptive strategy tend to do so when they perceive high degrees of POP. These results are then discussed from a cross-cultural perspective as an attempt to explain the legitimacy of ingratiation in Indonesia.
Keywords: ingratiation; job satisfaction; organizational politics; perception of organizational politics; political behavior.