power and politics

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Chapter 7: 

Chapter 7 Power and Politics

Power and Politics: 

Power and Politics What is power? How does one get it? What does it mean to empower employees? How can we be effective at office politics? Questions for Consideration Questions for Consideration

Power and Politics: 

Power and Politics Power A capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B so that B acts in accordance with A’s wishes. Dependency: B’s relationship to A when A possesses something that B requires Politics Behaviour to influence or attempt to influence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization.

Leadership and Power: 

Leadership Requires goal agreement Focuses on downward influence Minimizes importance of lateral and upward influence Leadership research focuses on answers Power Does not require goal acceptance Focuses on intimidation Maximizes importance of lateral and upward influence Power focuses on tactics for gaining compliance Leadership and Power

Measuring Bases of Power: 

Measuring Bases of Power Coercive power The person can make things difficult for people, and you want to avoid getting him or her angry. Power that is based on fear. Reward power The person is able to give special benefits or rewards to people, and you find it advantageous to trade favors with him or her. Legitimate power The person has the right, considering his or her position and your job responsibilities, to expect you to comply with legitimate requests.

Measuring Bases of Power: 

Measuring Bases of Power Expert power The person has the experience and knowledge to earn your respect, and you defer to his or her judgment in some matters. Referent power You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her.

Evaluating the Bases of Power: 

Evaluating the Bases of Power Coercive power tends to result in negative performance responses from individuals, decreases satisfaction, increases mistrust, and creates fear. Legitimate power does not have a negative effect, but does not generally stimulate employees to improve their attitudes or performance, and it does not generally result in increased commitment. Reward power may improve performance in a variety of situations if the rewards are consistent with what the individuals want as rewards. Expert power relies on trust that all relevant information is given out honestly and completely.

Leaders’ Use of Power: 

Leaders’ Use of Power The least effective power bases are the ones most likely to be used by managers Coercive, legitimate, and reward Easiest to implement Effective leaders use referent and/or expert power

Dependency: Key to Power: 

Dependency: Key to Power Importance The things you control must be important Scarcity A resource must be perceived as scarce Non-substitutability The resource cannot be substituted with something else

Increasing Dependency: 

Increasing Dependency To increase the dependency of others on you, you need to Control things viewed as important The resources must be viewed as scarce The resource must have few or no substitutes (nonsubstitutability)

Popularity of Power Tactics: From Most to Least Popular: 

When Managers Influenced Superiors* When Managers Influenced Subordinates Reason Coalition Friendliness Bargaining Assertiveness Higher authority Reason Assertiveness Friendliness Coalition Bargaining Higher authority Sanctions Most Popular Least Popular *The dimension of sanctions is omitted in the scale that measures upward influence. Popularity of Power Tactics: From Most to Least Popular

Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees : 

Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees The freedom and the ability of employees to make decisions and commitments Managers disagree over definition of empowerment Empowerment as delegating decision making within a set of clear boundaries versus Empowerment as “a process of risk taking and personal growth”

Conditions for True Empowerment: 

Conditions for True Empowerment Clear definition of the values and mission of the company Company must help employees acquire the relevant skills Employees need to be supported in their decision making, and not criticized when they try to do something extraordinary Employees need to be recognized for their efforts

Characteristics of Empowered People: 

Characteristics of Empowered People Sense of self-determination Employees are free to choose how to do their work; They are not micromanaged Sense of meaning Employees feel that their work is important to them; They care about what they are doing Sense of competence Employees are confident about their ability to do their work well; They know they can perform Sense of impact Employees people believe they can have influence on their work unit; Others listen to their ideas

Coalitions: 

Coalitions Two or more individuals who combine their power to push for or support their demands Predictions about coalition formation Coalitions seek to maximize their size Coalitions more likely to be created when there is greater task and resource dependence Coalitions more likely when tasks are routine

Sexual Harassment: 

Sexual Harassment The Supreme Court of Canada defines sexual harassment as Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the employee

Examples of Sexual Harassment: 

Examples of Sexual Harassment Disagreement as to what specifically constitutes sexual harassment Includes Unwanted physical touching Recurring requests for dates when it is made clear the person isn’t interested Coercive threats that a person will lose her or his job if she or he refuses a sexual proposition

Examples of Sexual Harassment: 

Examples of Sexual Harassment More subtle forms (harder to interpret) Unwanted looks or comments Off-colour jokes Sexual artifacts such as nude calendars in the workplace Sexual innuendo Misinterpretations of where the line between “being friendly” ends and “harassment” begins

Political Behaviour: 

Political Behaviour Those activities that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization. Legitimate: normal everyday behaviour Illegitimate: extreme political behaviours that violate the implied rules of the game

Why Do We Get Politics?: 

Why Do We Get Politics? Organizations are made up of groups and individuals who have differing values, goals and interests Resources in organizations are limited Performance outcomes are not completely clear and objective

Factors Influencing Political Behaviour: 

Factors Influencing Political Behaviour Political behaviour Low High Individual factors • High self-monitors • Internal locus of control • High Mach • Organizational investment • Perceived job alternatives • Expectations of success Organizational factors • Reallocation of resources • Promotion opportunities • Low trust • Role ambiguity • Unclear performance evaluation system • Zero-sum reward practices • Democratic decision making • High performance pressures • Self-serving senior managers Favourable outcomes • Rewards • Averted punishments

What Individual Factors Contribute to Politics?: 

What Individual Factors Contribute to Politics? High self-monitors Internal locus of control High mach Organizational investment Perceived job alternatives Expectations of success

What Organizational Factors Contribute to Politics?: 

What Organizational Factors Contribute to Politics? Reallocation of rewards Promotion opportunities Low trust Role ambiguity Unclear performance evaluation system Zero-sum reward practices Democratic decision-making High performance pressure Self-serving senior managers

Types of Political Activity: 

Types of Political Activity Attacking or blaming others Controlling information Forming coalitions Networking Creating obligations Managing impressions

Impression Management: 

Impression Management The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them More likely used by high self-monitors than low self-monitors High self-monitors try to read the situation

Impression Management (IM) Techniques: 

Impression Management (IM) Techniques Conformity Agreeing with someone else’s opinion in order to gain his or her approval. Excuses Explanations of a predicament-creating event aimed at minimizing the apparent severity of the predicament. Apologies Admitting responsibility for an undesirable event and simultaneously seeking to get a pardon for the action. Acclamations Explanation of favorable events to maximize the desirable implications for oneself. Flattery Complimenting others about their virtues in an effort to make oneself appear perceptive and likable. Favours Doing something nice for someone to gain that person’s approval. Association Enhancing or protecting one’s image by managing information about people and things with which one is associated.

Summary and Implications: 

Summary and Implications Power is a two-way street. Few employees relish being powerless in their jobs and organization. People respond differently to various power bases. Employees working under coercive managers are unlikely to be committed, and more likely to resist the manager. Expert power is the most strongly and consistently related to effective employee performance.

Summary and Implications: 

Summary and Implications The power of the manager may also play a role in determining job satisfaction. The effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. The more political that employees perceive an organization, the lower their satisfaction.