Unit 11Power and Politics : Dr. Smita Choudhary
Dr Unit 11Power and Politics 1 Power and politics Contents : Contents Introduction
Bases of power
Power in groups: coalitions
Politics: power in action 2 Power and politics Introduction : Introduction Power is the ability to make things happen in the way an individual wants, either by self or by the subordinates. The essence of power is control over the behavior of others.
---- (French & Raven, 1962)
Managers derive power from organizational sources (called position power) and individual sources (called personal power).
Power refers to the capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B, so that B acts in accordance with A’s wishes. The greater B’s dependence on A, the greater is A’s power in the relationship. Therefore power is a function of dependency.
---- (Robbins, 2003) 3 Power and politics Contrasting Leadership and Power : Contrasting Leadership and Power With respect to an organization, leadership and power are related to each other.
Leaders use power to achieve group goals.
Differences between leadership and power
Leadership and power differ on the basis of
Goal compatibility: Power does not require goal compatibility whereas leadership requires some match between goals of the leader and the followers.
Direction of influence: Leadership focuses on downward influence on one’s followers but power also focuses on the importance of lateral and upward influence pattern. 4 Power and politics Learning Objectives : Learning Objectives After this unit, you will be able to understand:
Bases of power
Power in groups: coalitions
Politics: power in action 5 Power and politics Bases of Power : Bases of Power Bases of Power Formal Power Informal Power Coercive power Reward Power Legitimate Power Information Power Expert Power Rational Persuasion Referent Power 6 Power and politics Formal Power : Formal Power It is based on an individual’s position in an organization.
It is derived from the person’s ability to force or reward others or from the formal authority he has because of his strategic position in the organizational hierarchy.
For example, a manager may transfer, demote or fire a subordinate who does not act as he wants.
Formal power is of four types
Information power 7 Power and politics Coercive Power : Coercive Power This is the power due to fear.
It is based on application or threat of application of
Creating frustration by limiting the movements
Controlling basic physiological or safety needs.
In an organization, any person who has the power to dismiss, suspend, or demote another person can use his power. 8 Power and politics Reward Power : Reward Power It is the opposite of coercive power.
It is the degree to which a manager can use rewards to control other people.
Examples of rewards are
A manager’s success in utilizing rewards to influence others depends on his skills. 9 Power and politics Legitimate Power : Legitimate Power It is the degree to which a manager can use subordinate’s beliefs that the boss has a right of command to control their behavior.
This is the special power of a manager because subordinates believe that it is acceptable for a person at managerial position to have the right to command.
The elements of legitimate power are
It is the power received due to a person’s position in the hierarchy.
Positions of authority include coercive and reward powers.
It includes the acceptance of authority of a position by members of an organization. 10 Power and politics Information Power : Information Power This power is the result of access to and control over information.
When a person has information, others become dependent on him. (For example, managers have data that subordinates do not have).
Higher the person in the hierarchy, more information would be accesses by him. 11 Power and politics Personal Power(Informal) : Personal Power(Informal) It is the power of an individual and does not depend on his/her position.
The bases of personal power are
Reference 12 Power and politics Expert Power : Expert Power It is the ability to control another person’s behavior through knowledge and experience that the other person does not have, but needs.
A subordinate obeys his supervisor because the boss knows better about what to do and how to do than the subordinate.
But in this hi-tech environment, the boss may depend on juniors for technical support. 13 Power and politics Rational Persuasion : Rational Persuasion It is the ability to control others’ behavior by making him accept the attractiveness of an offered goal and a practical way of achieving it.
Explaining the attractiveness of the expected results
Showing how to achieve these outcomes 14 Power and politics Referent Power : Referent Power It is the ability to control others’ behavior because the person wants to be like the person having the power.
A subordinate follows his boss because he wants to become like his boss.
This may happen because the subordinate likes the boss personally and tries to do things the way his boss wants him to do.
The subordinate tries to avoid anything that would harm his relationship with the boss. 15 Power and politics Charismatic Power : Charismatic Power It is an extension of the referent power.
It evolves from an individual’s personality and interpersonal style.
Others follow because they can
Express attractive visions
Take personal risks
Demonstrate follower sensitivity 16 Power and politics Dependency: The Key to Power : Dependency: The Key to Power The general equation of dependency is
The more B is dependent on A, the more power A has over B. If a person has anything that the other person wants, then he has more power over him.
Dependency is inversely proportional to the sources of supply. More the supply of resources, less is dependency and vice versa. That’s why most suppliers have more than one suppliers, rather than depending on a single supplier. 17 Power and politics Factors Responsible for Dependency : Factors Responsible for Dependency Three factors are responsible for dependency:
Importance: The more important a thing, more dependency it creates.
Scarcity: More scarce a resource, more dependency it creates.
Non-substitutability: When a resource has no practical substitute, the dependency on that resource increases. 18 Power and politics Power Tactics : Power Tactics Using power to achieve the desired effect over other people is a challenge faced by most of the managers.
The most common strategies to implement relational effect are (Kipnis et. Al, 1984):
Reason: Use of facts and data to present your ideas logically.
Friendliness: Use of flattery, creation of goodwill, acting humble, and being friendly.
Coalition: Getting the support of other people in the organization.
Bargaining: Use of negotiation.
Assertiveness: Use of a forceful approach
Higher authority: Getting the support of higher level members of the organization.
Sanctions: Use of rewards and punishments derived by the organization. 19 Power and politics Slide 20: Individuals use the above strategies according to the situational factors.
The manager’s relative power also affects the selection of techniques in two ways:
Managers with greater power use more techniques than managers with less power.
Managers with power use aggressiveness more frequently than managers with less power.
Managers use many power tactics like
When they want benefits from a superior, they use friendliness.
When they want superiors to accept new ideas, they use friendliness.
Managers use reason to make employees accept new ideas and friendliness to obtain favor. 20 Power and politics Empowerment : Empowerment The process by which managers give others the power to make decisions affecting their work and themselves is known as empowerment.
The concept of empowerment is part of the decentralized structures found in today’s organizations.
The trend is to form organizations that are flexible and are able to take faster decisions.
Empowerment is the key foundation of self-managing work teams. 21 Power and politics Slide 22: Changing Position Power
When an organization tries to empower its employees, it should change the existing pattern of power.
The main issues that should be taken care of during empowerment are
People in lower ranks should be trained on how to work in the empowered position.
Power should be used correctly and the authority, responsibility and accountability process should be clearly defined.
When power is given to lower level, they should be given knowledge of how to use this power otherwise it can create problems in the organization. 22 Power and politics Power in Groups: Coalitions : Power in Groups: Coalitions Individuals who lose power or are not able to increase their power individually, they form a coalition.
Coalition is an informal group, whose purpose is to achieve a single purpose.
The predictions about coalition formation are
Coalitions in organizations try to maximize their size.
More coalitions are likely to be created when there is more task and resource interdependence.
Coalition formation also depends on the actual tasks that the workers perform. When the group performs routine tasks, chances of formation of coalition are more. 23 Power and politics Politics: Power in Action : Politics: Power in Action Politics are those activities that are not a part of an individual’s formal role in the organization, but affect the advantages and disadvantages within the organization.
Organizational politics is the influence to obtain results not allowed by the organization or to obtain allowed results with the help of means that are not allowed.
From the above definition, the following points are clear:
Political behavior is not a part of an individual’s job requirements.
It includes efforts to influence the goals, criteria or processes used for decision making.
It includes many political behaviors like refusing to give important information to decision makers, spreading rumors, leaking confidential information, etc. 24 Power and politics Slide 25: Legitimate and Illegitimate Power Dimensions (Farrell & Peterson, 1998)
Legitimate political behavior is the normal everyday politics like complaining to supervisor, forming coalitions, etc.
Illegitimate political behavior is the behavior that violates rules like sabotage (doing damage), whistle blowing (speaking bad about the organization).
A majority of organizational political actions are legitimate. 25 Power and politics Slide 26: An analysis of literature on organizational politics shows that there are two opinions about organizational politics:
The first opinion is built on Machiavelli’s philosophy and defines politics in terms of self interest and the use of non- authorized means.
Organizational politics is defined as the management of influence to obtain ends not authorized by the organization or to obtain authorized ends through non-authorized means.
The second opinion treats politics as necessary function resulting from differences in the self-interests of individuals. 26 Power and politics Factors Contributing to Political Behavior : Factors Contributing to Political Behavior 1) Individual factors
Some personality traits, needs and other factors are related to political behavior. They are
Employees who are high self-monitors, have an internal locus of control are more likely to show political behavior.
The high self-monitor is more sensitive to social signals and is more skilled in political behavior than the low self-monitor.
Individuals with an internal locus of control try to manipulate or control situation in their favor.
The Machiavellian personality does not believe that politics is an unethical action. 27 Power and politics Slide 28: 2) Organizational Factors
Organizational factors responsible for affecting political behavior are
Cultures that have low trust, unclear performance evaluation system, high pressure for performance, show high degree of political behavior.
When organizations cut back to improve efficiency, people may take political actions to maintain their existing status quo (the tendency of being in the same situation).
Promotion decision also encourage political behavior.
Political behavior is more when there is less trust within the organization.
If employees’ roles are not clear, it leads to political behavior. 28 Power and politics Slide 29: Countering the Effects of Political Behavior
To deal with the effects of politicking, individuals may use the following three strategies:
Avoid action and risk taking
Redirect accountability and responsibility
Defend their turf 29 Power and politics Avoidance : Avoidance Avoidance is very common in controversial areas.
The most common reaction is to work to the rules.
Employees are safe when they strictly follow the rules, policies, and procedures and show no deviations or exceptions. 30 Power and politics Redirecting Responsibility : Redirecting Responsibility Politically sensitive individuals will always protect themselves from accepting blame for the negative results of their actions.
Many techniques are used for redirecting responsibility.
“Passing the buck” is a common method that employees and managers use.
They define the task in such a way that it becomes someone else’s responsibility. 31 Power and politics Defending Turf : Defending Turf It results from the coalition nature of organizations.
The organization is a collection of competing interests held by various departments and groups.
As each group tries to increase its influence, it starts to encroach on the activities of other groups 32 Power and politics Slide 33: Research has proved that perception of organizational politics are negatively related to job satisfaction.
The perception of politics leads to anxiety or stress.
When this becomes unbearable, employees leave the organization.
High political skills individuals often have improved performance.
Low political skills individuals often respond with defensive behaviors – reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action, change or blame. 33 Power and politics Maccoby’s Four Political Types : Maccoby’s Four Political Types In his book "The Gamesman", Michael Maccoby describes four types of organizational politicians. They are:
The Craftsman: Craftsmen are the least political. They are technical specialists who like details and accuracy. The person is usually quiet, sincere, modest and practical.
The Jungle Fighter: Jungle fighters are active politicians. They believe employees should be used to get ahead in the company. They want success at any cost. There are two types of jungle fighters:
Foxes: The foxes make their nests in the organization and plan from this safe base.
Lions: They capture others’ territories and build empires. Power and politics 34 Slide 35: Company men or women: These are traditional or moderate people. They have a desire for affiliation and may not show a lot of political behaviour. Such people are concerned for humans. They are more involved with security than success and may miss opportunities that arise.
The Gamesman: The gamesmen are competent politicians. They see business as a game and take calculated risks. The gamesmen are charismatic, grow when there are challenges and competition and motivate employees with enthusiasm. Power and politics 35 Check Your Learning : Power and politics 36 1. What are the different types of power categorized under Formal Power?
Ans.1 Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Informational.
2. What are the common power and influence tactics?
Ans-2:Reason,Friendliness,coalation,bargaining,assertiveness,higher authority, sanctions. Check Your Learning Slide 37: Power and politics 37 Thanks : Thanks Power and politics 38