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Organizational Power and Politics:

Organizational Power and Politics 17 Chapter


Introduction Power refers to the potential or actual ability to influence others in a desired direction. As an exchange relationship, power occurs in transactions between an agent and a target. The agent is the person using the power, and the target is the recipient of the attempt to use power. Different individuals and groups within an outside the organization can exert power. Organizational Power and Politics

Learning Objectives :

Learning Objectives Explain the concept of power. Identify interpersonal and structural sources of power in organizations. Understand the ethical use of power. Develop a plan for managing employee-boss relationship. Discuss the consequences of using power. Discuss the implications of political behaviour. Understand the major political strategies and influence tactics. Understand the reality of politics Explain Maccoby’s four political types. Understand the techniques of Impression Management. Organizational Power and Politics

Sources of Power in Organizations :

Sources of Power in Organizations Interpersonal Sources of Power Reward Power Coercive Power Legitimate Power Referent Power Expert Power Structural Sources of Power Uncertainty Reduction Substitutability Centrality Organizational Power and Politics

Managing The Boss :

Managing The Boss MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR BOSS AND HER CONTEXT, INCLUDING: Her Goals and objectives The pressures on her. Her strengths, weaknesses, blind spots. Her preferred work style ASSESS YOURSELF AND YOUR NEEDS, INCLUDING: Your own strengths and weaknesses. Your personal style. Your predisposition toward dependence on authority figures. DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A RELATIONSHIP THAT: Fits both your needs and styles. Is characterized by mutual expectations. Keeps your boss informed. Is based on dependability and honesty. Selectively uses your boss’s time and resources. Organizational Power and Politics

Consequence of Using Power :

Consequence of Using Power Addictiveness of Power Empowerment Organizational Power and Politics

Political Behaviour in Organizations :

Political Behaviour in Organizations those activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization Political behaviour may be legitimate or illegitimate Legitimate Political Behaviour Illegitimate Political Behaviours Organizational Power and Politics

Political Strategies and Influence Tactics :

Political Strategies and Influence Tactics TACTICS DESCRIPTION EXAMPLES Pressure The person uses demands, threats, or intimidation to convince you to comply with a request or to support a proposal. If you don’t do this, you’re fired. You have until 5:00 to change your mind, or I’m going without you. Upward appeals The person seeks to persuade you that the request is approved by higher management, or appeals to higher management for assistance in gaining your compliance with the request. I’m reporting you to my boss. My boss supports this idea. Exchange The person makes an explicit or implicit promise that you will receive rewards or tangible benefits if you comply with a request or support a proposal, or reminds you of a prior favour to be reciprocated. You owe me a favour. I’ll take you to lunch if you’ll support me on this. Coalition The person seeks the aid of others to persuade you to do something or uses the support of others as an argument for you to agree also. All the other supervisors agree with me. I’ll ask you in front of the whole committee. Ingratiation The person seeks to get you in a good mood or to think favourably of him or her before asking you to do something. Only you can do this job right. I can always count on you, so I have another request. Rational persuasion The person uses logical arguments and factual evidence to persuade you that a proposal or request is viable and likely to result in the attainment of task objectives. This new procedure will save us $150,000 in overhead. It makes sense to hire John; he has the most experience. Inspirational appeals The person makes an emotional request of proposal that arouses enthusiasm by appealing to your values and ideals, or by increasing your confidence that you can do it. Being environmentally conscious is the right thing. Getting that account will be tough, but I know you can do it. Consultation The person seeks your participation in making a decision or planning how to implement a proposed policy, strategy, or change. This new attendance plan is controversial. How can we make it more acceptable? What do you think we can do to make our workers less fearful of the new robots on the production line? Organizational Power and Politics

The Reality of Politics:

The Reality of Politics Politics is a fact of life in organizations. People play politics for the following reasons:- Organizations are made up of individuals and groups with different values, goals and interests. Resources in organizations are limited. This forces members to compete for the organizations limited resources. Most decisions have to be made in a climate of ambiguity. People within organizations will use whatever influence they can to taint the facts to support their goals and interests. Organizational Power and Politics

Maccoby’s Four Political Types :

Maccoby’s Four Political Types The Craftsman The Jungle Fighter Foxes Lions Company man or women The Gamesman Organizational Power and Politics

Managerial Implications: Using Power Effectively :

Managerial Implications: Using Power Effectively Use power in ethical ways Understanding and use all of the various types of power and influence Seek out jobs that allow you to develop your power skills Use Power Tempered by Maturity and Self-Control Accept that Influencing People is an Important Part of the Management Job Organizational Power and Politics

Impression Management :

Impression Management Most people want to make favourable impressions on others. This is particularly true in organizations, where individuals complete for jobs, favourable performance evaluations and salary increases. The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them is called impression management. Organizational Power and Politics

Impression Management Technique:

Impression Management Technique Conformity Excuses Apologies Acclaiming Flattery Favors Association Organizational Power and Politics


Conclusion “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Power is not always bad because it is an ability, individuals can learn to use it effectively. If we want to get things done in a group/ organisation it helps to have power. Power refers to the potential or actual ability to influence others in a desired direction. There is evidence that people respond differently to the various power bases. The power of one’s boss play a important role in determining an employees job satisfaction. The effective manager accepts the political nature of organisations. They are aware of the underlying politics and can manager impressions to get higher pay hikes and promotions then politically naïve colleagues. Organizational Power and Politics

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