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POWER AND POLITICS Presented By :- Divanshu Gupta PGDM 2010 – 12 ITM Navi Mumbai “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.” - A. Capone


Introduction Power Get someone to do something you want done Politics Behaviour to influence, or attempt to influence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization.


POWER “Power is the probability that one actor within the relationship will be in a position to carry out his own will despite resistance.” Max Weber “Power refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B so that B does something he or she won’t otherwise do.” - Barnard M. Bass

Slide 4:

Indicators Compliance Uncertainty Dependency Reputation Trappings Consequences Distribution Shifts Power Determinants POWER DYNAMICS

Source of Power:

Source of Power Structural Sources Knowledge Resources Decision making Interpersonal Sources Number of people Rewards Coercive Legitimate Expert Referent

Power Tactics:

Power Tactics Individual and Intra-group tactics Assertiveness Friendliness or ingratiation Rationality Sanctions Higher authority Bargaining Coalition

Power Tactics (Continue……):

Power Tactics (Continue……) Inter group tactics Uncertainty absorption Substitutability Integrative Importance


POLITICS “Politics refers to the structure and process of the use of authority and power to affect definition of goals, directions and the other major parameters of the organization. Decisions are not made in a rational or formal way but rather through compromise, accommodation and bargaining.” M. L. Tushman

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“Organizational politics is the process whereby individuals or groups use whatever power they can amass to influence organizational decision in the direction of their own interests.” R. Miles “Organizational politics refer to intentional behaviors that are designed to enhance or protect a person's influence and self-interest.” - Amos Drory and Tsilia Romm

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Attacking / blaming others Selectively distribution information Managing impressions Types of organizational Politics Association with line executives Controlling information channels Forming Coalitions Increasing Indispensability Types of political activity

Ethics of Power and Politics:

Ethics of Power and Politics Must satisfy three criteria Criterion of utilitarian outcomes Criterion of individual rights Criterion of distributive justice


CASE STUDY Amitabh is an overambitious young man. For him ends justify means. He joined ABC Enterprises in 1990 with diploma-electrical as Technical Assistant. He got promoted as Engineer-Sales in 1994 in recognition for BE-Electrical he got in 1993 through correspondence course from a Centralized University. Amitabh got promotions in quick succession as he excelled himself in new role and was able to become Senior Manager-Marketing in 1998. In between he completed MBA-Marketing (part time) and Ph.D. in 1999. Now Amitabh eyed on things beyond his jurisdiction. He started complaining against Deepak (Section head) and Gaurav (Unit Chief) with Rakesh (Executive Vice president). The complaints included- delay in executing orders, poor quality, customer rejections & so on. Most of the complaints were concocted. Rakesh was convinced & requested Amitabh to head production section so that things could be straitened up there. Amitabh become section head & Deepak was shifted to sales. Amitabh started prevailing on Rakesh got sales and quality in his control along with production. Deepak was now subordinated to Amitabh.

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Success had gone in Amitabh’s head as he had everything going in his favour-position, money and power. He divided workers , ignored Gaurav and established direct link with Rakesh. Unable to bear the humiliation, Gaurav quitted the company and Amitabh was promoted to General Manager. He became megalomanic. Things had to end at some point. There were complaints against him, he has inducted his brother-in-law Ganesh, as an engineer who was corrupt by nature. Ganesh stole copper worth Rs. 5 lakh and was suspended. Amitabh tried to defend Ganesh but failed in his effort. Corruption charges in tune of Rs 20 lakhs were also leveled against him. In 2003, Amitabh was reverted back to his old position – sales. Deepak was promoted and was asked to head production. Roles got reversed. Deepak became boss to Amitabh again. Unable to swallow the insult, Amitabh put in his papers. Back home Amitabh started his own consultancy claiming himself as an authority in quality management. He poached on his previous company and peaked up two best brains in quality. From 1990 to 2003, Amitabh’s career graph had a steep rise and sudden fall.

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Question 1: what political strategies did Amitabh use to gain Power ? Question 2: What would you do if you were (a) Deepak (b) Gaurav (c) Rakesh Question 3: Bring out the ethical issues involved in Amitabh’s Behavior.


Conclusion Power is the ability to influence people and events. Managers need to use power effectively. Closely related to power is politics. Politics relates to the ways people gain and use power in organizations. Political activities in an organization are inevitable and managers should manage them carefully. Power and politics are present in all organizations.

Questions ?:

Questions ?



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