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Orgnisational Behaviour Notes

Orgnisational Behaviour Notes

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Published by kamdica
Orgnisational Behaviour Notes
Orgnisational Behaviour Notes

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Published by: kamdica on Oct 18, 2009
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Read Robbins' textbook, Chapter 13, Power and Politics.

The textbook points out that power and politics are among the more 'difficult' and
inadmissible topics in management, and in fact all of us would be aware of the drain on
people's time and energy that comes through what we customarily call 'playing politics'
or 'power struggles’. However, this is not the only possible view of power. In other
Modules we have occasionally referred to management as 'getting things done through
other people’. In the light of this definition, it is easier to accept that power and politics –
with politics defined as the exercise of power, which is perhaps the simplest distinction
between the two – are not merely necessary evils in organisations. If management is
getting things done through people, then it is possible to think of power as the fuel
behind the action of getting things done.
This is not to deny that excessive politicking can indeed be the drain on personal and
organisational resources that we intuitively feel it to be. But it may be interesting and
instructive to examine the argument that the oppressive actions that we often label as
power are more likely to be the result of a lack of power – that is, the lack of the
supplies, information and support needed to make things happen. But to deny the
reality – and the usefulness – of power in organisations, is to rely on an unduly

Faculty of Business, University of the Sunshine Coast
Course Work – Managing Organisational Behaviour MGT701

Page 77

Graduate Studies Program

mechanistic, efficiency driven model of organisations which suggests that any intrusion
of 'irrational' elements such as power or politics is an undesirable aberration.

In this topic we will examine the following issues:

• power 'to' versus power 'over'
• sources of power
• power strategies
• an Australian contribution to thinking about power: the arena model.

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