Perceived Organizational Support (POS) refers to employees’ perception concerning the extent to which the organization values their contribution and cares about their well-being. POS has been found to have important consequences employee performance and well-being.

Research on perceived organizational support (POS) began with the observation that if managers are concerned with their employees’ commitment to the organization, employees are focused on the organization’s commitment to them (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986Organizational support theory (OST: Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchinson, & Sowa, 1986; Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002; Shore & Shore, 1995) holds that employees develop POS in order to meet  needs for approval, esteem and affiliation, and to assess the benefits of increased work effort. POS increases employees’ felt obligation to help the organization reach its objectives, their affective commitment to the organization, and their expectation that improved performance will be rewarded. Behavioral outcomes of POS include increases in in-role and extra-role performance and decreases in withdrawal behaviors such as absenteeism and turnover.

Although there were relatively few studies of POS until the mid-1990′s, research on the topic has burgeoned in the last few years. Rhoades and Eisenberger’s (2002) meta-analysis covered some 70 POS studies carried out through 1999, and the number now exceeds 700.  Rhoades and Eisenberger and more recent meta-analyses (e.g., Kurtessis, Eisenberger, Ford, Buffardi, Stewart, & Adis, 2015) found clear and consistent relationships of POS with its predicted antecedents and consequences.

Information about assessing POS and downloadable articles are provided below. More information on POS can be obtained from my recent book with Florence Stinglhamber entitled Perceived organizational support: Fostering enthusiastic and productive employees. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Books.

A link for a copy of the 36-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS) is given in the table below. The items indicated by an asterisk are a 16-item short form. The reference for the scale is:

Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500-507.

If a still shorter 8-item version of the scale is needed, another version selected from high loading items from the original SPOS may be used (please see the table below). This scale follows the recommendation of Rhoades and Eisenberger (2002, p. 699) that “Because the original scale is unidimensional and has high internal reliability, the use of shorter versions does not appear problematic. Prudence nevertheless dictates that both facets of the definition of POS (valuation of employees’ contribution and care about employees’ well-being) be represented in short versions of the questionnaire.”

The above 1986 article should be referenced if you are going to use the 8-item version. Item numbers refer to the 1986 article.

Below are some relevant articles by my colleagues and myself:

A link for a copy of the 36-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS) is given in the table below. The items indicated by an asterisk are a 16-item short form. The reference for the scale is:

Eisenberger, R., Huntington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500-507.

If a still shorter 8-item version of the scale is needed, another version selected from high loading items from the original SPOS may be used (please see the table below). This scale follows the recommendation of Rhoades and Eisenberger (2002, p. 699) that “Because the original scale is unidimensional and has high internal reliability, the use of shorter versions does not appear problematic. Prudence nevertheless dictates that both facets of the definition of POS (valuation of employees’ contribution and care about employees’ well-being) be represented in short versions of the questionnaire.”

The above 1986 article should be referenced if you are going to use the 8-item version. Item numbers refer to the 1986 article.

Below are some relevant articles by my colleagues and myself:

Article Download
Kurtessis, J. N., Eisenberger, R. Ford, M. T. Buffardi, L. C. Stewart, K. A., & Adis, C. S. (Published online March 2015). Perceived organizational support: A meta-analytic evaluation of organizational support theory. Journal of Management.
Neves, P., & Eisenberger, R. (2014). Perceived organizational support and risk taking. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 29, 187-205,
Eisenberger, R., Shoss, M. K., Karagonlar, G., Gonzalez-Morales, M. G., Wickham, R., & Buffardi, L., C. (2014). The supervisor POS – LMX – subordinate POS chain: Moderation by reciprocation wariness and supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 35, 635-656.
Shoss, M., Eisenberger, R., Restubog, S. L. D., & Zagenczyk, T. J. (2013). Blaming the organization for abusive supervision: The roles of perceived organizational support and supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98, 158-168.
Neves, P. & Eisenberger, R. (2012). Management communication and employee performance: The contribution of perceived organizational support. Human Performance, 25. 452-464
Hayton, James C., Carnabuci, G., & Eisenberger, R. (2012). With a little help from my colleagues: A social embeddedness approach to perceived organizational support, Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33, 235-249.
Eisenberger, R., Karagonlar, G., Stinglhamber, F., Neves, P., Becker, T. E., Gonzalez-Morales, M. G., & Steiger-Mueller, M. (2010). Leader-member exchange and affective organizational commitment: The contribution of supervisor’s organizational embodiment. Journal of Applied Psychology.
Chen, Z, Eisenberger, R., Johnson, K. M., Sucharski, I. L., & Aselage, J. (2009). Perceived organizational support and extra-role performance: Which leads to which? Journal of Social Psychology, 149, 119-124.
Eder, P., & Eisenberger, R. (2008). Perceived organizational support: Reducing the negative influence of coworker withdrawal behavior. Journal of Management, 34, 55-68
Shanock, S. & Eisenberger, R. (2006). When Supervisors feel supported: Relationships with subordinates’ perceived supervisor support, perceived organizational support and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 689-695.
Aselage, J., & Eisenberger, R. (2003). Perceived organizational support and psychological contracts: a theoretical integration. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24, 491-509.
Rhoades, L, & Eisenberger, R. (2002). Perceived organizational support: A review of the literature. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 698-714.
Eisenberger, R., Stinglhamber, F., Vandenberghe, C., Sucharski, I., & Rhoades, L. (2002). Perceived supervisor support: Contributions to perceived organizational support and employee retention. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 565-573.
Eisenberger, R., Armeli, S., Rexwinkel, B., Lynch, P. D., & Rhoades, L. (2001). Reciprocation of perceived organizational support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 42-51.
Eisenberger, R., Rhoades, L., & Cameron, J. (1999). Does pay for performance increase or decrease perceived self-determination and intrinsic motivation? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 1026-1040.
Lynch, P. D., Eisenberger, R., & Armeli, S. (1999). Perceived organizational support: Inferior-versus-superior performance by wary employees. Journal of Applied Psychology, 84, 467-483.
Armeli, S., Eisenberger, R., Fasolo, P., & Lynch, P. (1998). Perceived organizational support and police performance: The moderating influence of socioemotional needs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 288-297.
Eisenberger, R., Cummings, J., Armeli, S., Lynch, P. (1997). Perceived organizational Support, Discretionary Treatment, and Job Satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 82, 812-820.
Eisenberger, R., Fasolo, P., & Davis-LaMastro, V. (1990). Perceived organizational support and employee diligence, commitment, and innovation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 51-59.
Eisenberger, R., Hungtington, R., Hutchison, S., & Sowa, D. (1986). Perceived Organizational Support. Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 500-507.

 

The 36-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS), in Microsoft Word (R) format Download
The 36-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS), in Adobe Acrobat (R) format Download
The 8-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS), in Microsoft Word (R) format Download
The 8-item Survey of Perceived Organizational Support (SPOS), in Adobe Acrobat (R) format Download