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Chapter 12

Power, Politics, and Ethics

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 1

Learning Objectives
1. Define power and review the bases of individual power.

2. Explain how people obtain power in organizations.


3. Discuss the concept of empowerment.

4. Review various influence tactics.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 2

Learning Objectives (continued)


5. Provide a profile of power seekers.

6. Explain strategic contingencies and discuss how subunits obtain power.


7. Define organizational politics and discuss its various forms.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 3

Learning Objectives (continued)


8. Define ethics and review the ethical dilemmas that managers face. 9. Define sexual harassment and discuss what organizations can do to prevent it and how they should respond to allegations.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 4

What Is Power?
Power is the capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence. It is not always perceived or exercised. It does not imply a poor relationship between the powerholder and the target of power. Power can flow in any direction in an organization. Power applies to both individuals and groups.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 5

The Bases of Individual Power


Power can be found in the position one occupies in an organization or the resources that one is able to command. There are five bases of individual power: Legitimate power Reward power Coercive power Referent power Expert power

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Chapter 12 / Slide 6

Legitimate Power
Power derived from a persons position or job in an organization. It is based on ones authority and level in an organizations hierarchy. Legitimate power works because people have been socialized to accept its influence.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 7

Reward Power
Power derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes and prevent negative outcomes. It corresponds to the concept of positive reinforcement.

Any organizational member can attempt to exert influence over others with praise, compliments, and flattery.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 8

Coercive Power
Power derived from the use of punishment and threat. Lower-level organizational members can also apply their share of coercion. When managers use coercive power, it is generally ineffective and can provoke considerable employee resistance.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 9

Referent Power
Power derived from being well liked by others.

It stems from identification with the powerholder.


Referent power is available to anyone in an organization who is well liked. Interpersonal relations often permit influence to extend across the organization, outside the usual channels of legitimate authority, reward, and coercion.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 10

Expert Power
Power derived from having special information or expertise that is valued by an organization. Expert power corresponds to difficulty of replacement. Expert power is a valuable asset for managers.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 11

Expert Power (continued)


Of all the bases of power, expertise is most consistently associated with employee effectiveness. Employees perceive women managers as more likely than male managers to be high in expert power.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 12

Employee Responses to Bases of Power

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Chapter 12 / Slide 13

Employee Responses to Bases of Power (continued)


Employees are likely to have the following response to each base of managerial power: Coercive power Resistance Reward power Compliance

Legitimate power Compliance


Expert power Commitment Referent power Commitment

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Chapter 12 / Slide 14

How Do People Obtain Power?


How do people get power?

People obtain power in organizations by doing certain activities and developing informal relationships with the right people.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 15

Doing the Right Things


Extraordinary Activities

Excellent performance in unusual or nonroutine activities.


Highly Visible

Activities must be visible to others and publicized.


Relevant Activities Relevant to the solution of important organizational problems.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 16

Cultivating the Right People


Outsiders Establishing good relationships with key people outside of ones organization. Subordinates Being closely identified with certain up-andcoming subordinates. Being backed by a cohesive team.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 17

Cultivating the Right People (continued)


Peers A means of ensuring that nothing gets in the way of ones future acquisition of power. Superiors Liaisons with key superiors is the best way of obtaining power through cultivating others. Mentors can provide power in several ways.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 18

Empowerment
Empowerment means giving people the authority, opportunity, and motivation to take initiative and solve organizational problems. People who are empowered have a strong sense of self-efficacy.

Empowering lower-level employees can be critical in service organizations.


Empowerment fosters job satisfaction and high performance.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 19

Empowerment (continued)
Empowerment puts power where it is needed to make the organization effective. Empowerment should lead to effective performance when people have sufficient power to carry out their jobs.

Excessive power can lead to abuse and ineffective performance.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 20

Relationship Between Power and Performance

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Chapter 12 / Slide 21

Influence Tactics Putting Power to Work


How does power result in influence? Influence tactics convert power into actual influence over others. They are specific behaviours that powerholders use to affect others.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 22

Influence Tactics Putting Power to Work (continued)


Assertiveness Ingratiation Rationality Exchange Upward appeal Coalition formation

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Chapter 12 / Slide 23

Influence Tactics (continued)


The use of an influence tactic is determined by ones base of power and who they are trying to influence (subordinates, peers, or superiors). The use of rationality is viewed positively by others and it is frequently used.

Subordinates are more likely to be the recipients of assertiveness.


Rationality is most likely to be directed toward superiors.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 24

Influence Tactics (continued)


Which influence tactics are most effective?

Using rationality as an influence tactic has been found to be particularly effective for men.
A particularly ineffective influence style is a shotgun style that is high on all tactics. Using ingratiation as an influence tactic has been found to be particularly effective for women.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 25

Who Wants Power?


Need for power (n Pow) is the need to have strong influence over others. It is a reliable personality characteristic some people have more n Pow than others. When n Pow is responsible and controlled, its negative properties are not observed. The most effective managers use their n Pow for the good of the organization. They are called institutional managers.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 26

Who Wants Power? (continued)


Institutional managers:

have a high n Pow;


use their power to achieve organizational goals;

adopt a participative or coaching leadership style; and


are relatively unconcerned with how much others like them.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 27

Who Wants Power? (continued)


Institutional managers are more effective than personal power managers, who use their power for personal gain, and affiliative managers, who are more concerned with being liked than with exercising power.

Institutional managers are superior in giving subordinates a sense of responsibility, clarifying organizational priorities, and instilling team spirit.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 28

Responses of Subordinates of Managers With Different Motive Profiles

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Chapter 12 / Slide 29

Controlling Strategic Contingencies - How Subunits Obtain Power


Subunit power refers to the degree of power held by various organizational subunits, such as departments.
How do organizational subunits acquire power? Subunits gain power by controlling strategic contingencies.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 30

Controlling Strategic Contingencies (continued)


Strategic contingencies are critical factors affecting organizational effectiveness that are controlled by a key subunit. The work other subunits perform is contingent on the activities and performance of a key subunit. We see the critical role of dependence in power relationships.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 31

Controlling Strategic Contingencies (continued)


Conditions under which subunits can control strategic contingencies: Scarcity Uncertainty

Centrality
Substitutability

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Chapter 12 / Slide 32

Scarcity
Differences in subunit power are likely to be magnified when resources become scarce. Subunits tend to acquire power when they are able to secure scarce resources that are important to the organization as a whole.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 33

Uncertainty
Organizations face many sources of uncertainty that can create problems. Subunits that are most capable of coping with uncertainty and providing the organization with greater control over what it finds problematic and can create more certainty tend to acquire power. Changes in the sources of uncertainty frequently lead to shifts in subunit power.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 34

Centrality
Subunits whose activities are most central to the work flow of the organization should acquire more power. A subunits activities can be central when: it influences the work of most other subunits; it has an especially crucial impact on the quantity or quality of the organizations key product or service; and its impact is more immediate.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 35

Substitutability
If a subunits staff cannot be easily replaced (it is non-substitutable), it can acquire substantial power. A change in the labour market can result in a change in a subunits influence.

If work can be contracted out, the power of the subunit that usually performs these activities is reduced.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 36

Organizational Politics
The pursuit of self-interest in an organization, whether or not this self-interest corresponds to organizational goals. Frequently, politics involves using means of influence that the organization does not sanction or pursuing ends or goals that it does not sanction. Political activity is self-conscious and intentional.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 37

Organizational Politics (continued)


An individual or subunit activity. Politics can have beneficial outcomes for an organization. It is the association between influence means and influence ends that determines whether activities are political and whether they benefit the organization.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 38

The Dimensions of Organizational Politics

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Chapter 12 / Slide 39

The Dimensions of Organizational Politics (continued)


Sanctioned means/sanctioned ends
Power is used routinely to pursue agreed-on goals. Nonpolitical job behaviour. Sanctioned means/nonsanctioned ends Acceptable means of influence are abused to pursue goals that the organization does not approve of. Dysfunctional political behaviour.
Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 40

The Dimensions of Organizational Politics (continued)


Nonsanctioned means/sanctioned ends
Ends that are useful for the organization are pursued through questionable means. Political behaviour potentially functional to the organization.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 41

The Dimensions of Organizational Politics (continued)


Nonsanctioned means/nonsanctioned ends
Most flagrant abuse of power. Disapproved tactics are used to pursue disapproved outcomes. Dysfunctional political behaviour.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 42

Organizational Politics (continued)


Political activities are more likely to occur under particular conditions and locations: Middle and upper management levels. Subunits with vague goals and complex tasks. Certain issues (e.g., budget allocation, personnel changes). Scarce resources, uncertainty, and important issues provoke political behaviour.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 43

Organizational Politics (continued)


Highly political climates result in lowered job satisfaction, lowered feelings of organizational support, and increased turnover intentions.
Politics takes a toll on the performance of older workers but not younger workers, perhaps due to stress factors.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 44

The Facets of Political Skill


Political skill refers to the ability to understand others at work and to use that knowledge to influence others to act in ways that enhance ones personal or organizational objectives. There are four facets to political skill:

Social astuteness
Interpersonal influence Apparent sincerity

Networking ability

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Chapter 12 / Slide 45

The Facets of Political Skill (continued)


Political skill is positively related to job performance.
More skilled politicians are less likely to feel stressed in response to role conflict.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 46

Networking
Networking involves establishing good relations with key organizational members or outsiders to accomplish ones goals. It involves developing informal social contacts to enlist the cooperation of others when their support is necessary. Upper-level managers often establish very large political networks both inside and outside the organization.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 47

Networking (continued)
There are several aspects to networking:

Maintaining contacts
Socializing Engaging in professional activities

Participating in community activities


Increasing internal visibility

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Chapter 12 / Slide 48

Networking (continued)
Research has found those high in self-esteem and extraversion to be more likely to engage in networking behaviours. Engaging in professional activities and increasing internal visibility were most associated with career success but only for men. Networking has increased in importance.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 49

Networking (continued)
Being central in a large network provides power especially if the network is diverse and consists of those who themselves hold power.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 50

Machiavellianism
A set of cynical beliefs about human nature, morality, and the permissibility of using various tactics to achieve ones ends. A stable personality trait. High Machs are more likely to advocate the use of lying and deceit to achieve desired goals. High Machs assume that the ends justify the means.

High Machs are convincing liars and enthusiastic organizational politicians.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 51

Machiavellianism (continued)
They are cool and calculating and insulate themselves from the negative social consequences of their tactics. They are able to identify situations in which their tactics will work.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 52

Machiavellianism (continued)
High Machs use their tactics best in the following kinds of situations: Face-to-face encounters. Fairly emotional circumstances.

The situation is fairly unstructured, with few guidelines for appropriate forms of interaction.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 53

Machiavellianism (continued)
These characteristics reveal a situation in which the high Mach can use his or her tactics because emotion distracts others. High Machs are especially skilled at getting their way when power vacuums or novel situations confront a group, department, or organization.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 54

Defensiveness Reactive Politics


Defensiveness concerns the defence or protection of self-interest. The goal is to reduce threats to ones own power by avoiding actions that do not suit ones own political agenda or avoiding blame for events that might threaten ones political capital. This can involve no action at all or avoiding blame for consequences.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 55

Avoiding Actions
Stalling

Moving slowly when someone asks for your cooperation.


Overconforming

Sticking to the strict letter of your job description or to organizational regulations.


Buck passing Having someone else take action.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 56

Avoiding Blame
Buffing

Carefully documenting information showing that an appropriate course of action was followed.
Scapegoating Blaming others when things go wrong. Works best when you have some power behind you.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 57

Ethics in Organizations
Ethics can be defined as systematic thinking about the moral consequences of decisions. Moral consequences can be framed in terms of the potential for harm to any stakeholders in the decision.

Stakeholders are people inside or outside of an organization who have the potential to be affected by organizational decisions.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 58

Ethics in Organizations (continued)


A large majority agree that unethical practices occur in business. A substantial number believe they have been pressured to compromise their own ethical standards when making organizational decisions. Managers see themselves as having higher ethical standards than their peers and sometimes their superiors.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 59

The Nature of Ethical Dilemmas


What are the kinds of ethical dilemmas that most frequently face organizational decision makers?

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Chapter 12 / Slide 60

Issues Covered In Corporate Codes of Ethics

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Chapter 12 / Slide 61

The Nature of Ethical Dilemmas (continued)


Ethical issues are often occupationally specific.
There are also common themes that run through ethical issues that managers face. A study of an occupationally diverse group of managers discovered seven themes that defined their moral standards for decision making.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 62

Common Themes of Ethical Issues that Managers Face


Honest communication
Fair treatment Special consideration

Fair competition
Responsibility to organization Corporate social responsibility.

Respect for law

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Chapter 12 / Slide 63

Causes of Unethical Behaviour


What are the causes of unethical behaviour?

Knowledge of the causes can help anticipate the circumstances that warrant special vigilance.
It can also aid in prevention.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 64

Causes of Unethical Behaviour (continued)


Gain

The anticipation of healthy reinforcement for following an unethical course of action, especially if no punishment is expected.
Role conflict

Many ethical dilemmas are actually forms of role conflict that get resolved in an unethical way.
Bureaucratic role as an organizational employee is at odds with ones role as the member of a profession.
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Chapter 12 / Slide 65

Causes of Unethical Behaviour (continued)


Competition Stiff competition for scarce resources. There is also strong temptation to make unethical decisions in situations in which essentially no competition exists. Personality Certain personality types are more prone to unethical behaviour (e.g., economic values, high need for personal power).

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Chapter 12 / Slide 66

Causes of Unethical Behaviour (continued)


There are individual differences in the degree of sophistication that people use in thinking about moral issues. Less disengagement and more attentiveness is associated with more ethical behaviour.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 67

Causes of Unethical Behaviour (continued)


Organizational and Industry Culture

Aspects of an organizations culture (and its subcultures) can influence ethics.


Corporate cultures that reward unethical behaviour. A culture of greed and exclusive focus on positive financial results. Corporate codes of conduct might have an impact on culture and ethical decision making.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 68

Whistle-Blowing
Disclosure of illegitimate practices by a current or former organizational member to some person or organization that might be able to take action to correct these practices. The whistle may be blown either inside or outside of the offending organization. Most organizations rely on vague open door policies rather than having specific channels and procedures for whistle-blowers to follow.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 69

Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment is a form of unethical behaviour that stems, in part, from the abuse of power and the perpetuation of a gender power imbalance. It involves coercion of sexual cooperation by threat of job-related consequences and unwanted and offensive sex-related verbal or physical conduct.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 70

Sexual Harassment (continued)


The most severe forms of sexual harassment are committed by supervisors. The most frequent perpetrators are co-workers. Sexual harassment is also prevalent in hostile work environments and is most likely in maledominated industries and organizations in which men attempt to maintain their dominance relative to women.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 71

Sexual Harassment (continued)


Many organizations are slow to react to complaints of sexual harassment. The deaf ear syndrome refers to the inaction or complacency of organizations in the face of charges of sexual harassment.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 72

Sexual Harassment (continued)


Why do organizations fail to respond?

Inadequate organizational policies and procedures for managing harassment complaints;


defensive managerial reactions; and organizational features that contribute to inertial tendencies.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 73

Sexual Harassment (continued)


Recommendations for dealing with sexual harassment: Examine the characteristics of deaf ear organizations. Foster management support and education. Stay vigilant. Take immediate action. Create a state-of-the-art policy. Establish clear reporting procedures.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 74

Sexual Harassment (continued)


Organizations that are responsive to complaints of sexual harassment have: Top management commitment. Provide comprehensive education programs.

Continuously monitor the work environment.


Respond to complaints in a thorough and timely manner. Have clear policies and reporting procedures.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 75

Employing Ethical Guidelines


Identify the stakeholders that will be affected by any decision. Identify the costs and benefits of various decision alternatives to these stakeholders. Consider the relevant moral expectations that surround a particular decision. Be familiar with common ethical dilemmas that decision makers face in your organizational role or profession.

Copyright 2011 Pearson Canada Inc.

Chapter 12 / Slide 76

Employing Ethical Guidelines (continued)


Discuss ethical matters with decision stakeholders and others.
Convert your ethical judgments into appropriate action.

Training and education in ethics is also important and has a positive impact on ethical attitudes.

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Chapter 12 / Slide 77