Up Next

Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Kenan Institute 2024 Grand Challenge: Business Resilience
Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues
Apr 26, 2024

The Positive Spillover of Managers’ Ally Work: Perceptions of Manager Liberalism and its Effect on Employee Volunteering


Ally work, or actions to support those from less advantaged social groups, shows promise in advancing social welfare in workplaces. Although much of the literature has explained factors that predict ally work, in this paper, we shift the conversation to understand the positive spillover of managers’ ally work on observing employees. We focus specifically on self ally work. Drawing from the theory of political ideology-as-motivated cognition, we propose that employees perceive managers who enact self ally work as more liberal (rather than conservative). Employees’ perceptions of managers’ liberalism, then, promote a positive unintended consequence in the form of increased employee engagement in volunteering. The spillover benefit, however, is limited to employees who share the manager’s political worldview (i.e., employees who are more liberal vs. conservative). In all, we predict that when managers enact self ally work, employees will perceive their manager as more liberal and be more likely to agree to managers’ volunteering requests if they are also more liberal. We identify positive appraisal of managers’ request as an additional causal mechanism that explains these effects. Findings across six studies—both field and experimental—support our proposals. Implications for theory and practice are reviewed.

View Publication on Journal Site

You may also be interested in: