ORGANIZATIONAL/CORP ORATE POLITICS, POWER and MANAGEMENT

Presented by: B.Sarpong Mensah and Dr. Kwabena Frimpong.

(1986. It s reality and it s not. it s just the making sure that. Organization and Employment) ‡ I always thought politics was a dirty word at work. it s not being sneaky. p.29) (Management. but it s reality. J.Organizational Reality and Politics ‡ Successful managers are those who can work out the unwritten laws of life in the organizational jungle and are able to play the game so that they win (Watson T. your people that are going to help you go where you need to go. aware of you and know what you do . you know.

functions . both individual and group Organizational Politics is normal: cultures. roles Survival in organizations as a political act Conflict as defining characteristic of organizations Optimal level of conflict for high performance Negative effects of conflict to be minimized The need for appreciation and understanding of power and politics in the context of the organization: POLITICAL COMPETENCE . Conceptual Issues:Organizations as Political arenas ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Bottom-line: is to get things done Conflicting interests in organizations Organizations as turf wars (MINTZBERG) Organizations as systems of conflict. Depts. occupations..I. branches.

What is Politics? ‡ Mobilization processes involved to either get ones objectives adopted or preventing the other s adopted or somewhere in between ‡ Politics because of scarcity or strategic contingency ‡ Politics because of the need for control and power in organizations .

expert.What is Power? ‡ Sources of power by French and Raven (Legitimate. coercive . reward. network etc) ‡ Neutral conception: The capacity to enact your will in a social context ‡ Negative conception: Force others to do against their will ‡ Progressive Conception: Framing the issue so others do out of their volition ‡ Organizational politics is about power relations ‡ These power relations need to be managed else organizational energy would be dissipated over needless conflicts and political games .referent.

Strategic Candidate Games 12.‡SOME POLITICAL GAMES IN ORGANIZATIONS 1. Expertise Games 8. Budgeting Games 7. Line Vs. Empire-Building Games 6. usually lower status ones. Staff Games 10. Lording Games 9. . Alliance-Building games 5. Whistle-Blowing Games Played by lower status participants against the dominant elites Played by the dominant elites against the insurgents Played by patrons and clients Played among peers who implicitly seek reciprocal support A political actor or sub-system seeks to capture others and enrol them as subordinate to its interest The objective is to secure resources The games of strategic contingency Relatively powerless players seek to lord it through using what they claim to be their legitimate power over those who are supplicant or lower in status Each side uses legitimate power in illegitimate Alliance or empire building games develop into rival blocs that face each other in zero-sum games similar to those witnessed in international relations between competitive countries or blocs of Nations Those in power seek to ensure the succession of preferred candidates as vacancies arise Participants. Rival Camps Game 11 . Insurgency Games 2 Counter-Insurgency Games 3. seek to expose malfeasance or illegitimacy outside the organization to effect internal policy or strategy changes. Sponsorship Games 4.

Power Strategies in Organizations Developing Power ‡ Creating dependence in others ‡ Control over uncertainty ‡ Possession of nonsubstitutable skills ‡ Self confidence through self-efficacy Using Power ‡ Control over information flow ‡ Agenda control ‡ Decision-making power ‡ Cooptation and coalition building ‡ Using influential outsiders to bolster ones position .

‡ Participants to break into groups of three. ‡ Share stories of your department/organization /self which illustrate the impact of both "raw and positive power.II. . Activities and Discussions.

1. 1. Recommended Action Physical Separation Increase Resources Repression of emotions & opinion Create super-ordinate goals Emphasize similarities Negotiate Appeal to higher authority Rotate jobs Implicit Strategy Avoidance Avoidance Avoidance Collaboration Smoothing Compromise Hierarchical referral Structural change . 1. 1. 1.‡CLASS DEBATE: Participants should debate the following ways of reducing conflicts in organizations as proposed by Robbins (1974). 1. 1. 1.

and other stakeholders? . Guidelines: Who were the key actors? What type of organization? What was the issue? What caused the issue? What role did the actors play in the cause of the issue? How was the issue resolved or if not resolved? What impact did it have on the organization.CLASS ACTIVITY Participants to break into 4 groups to share stories about organizational/Departmental politics/power that they have knowledge of. the members.

and thereafter address these questions: ‡ Reflect on the above case in terms of the relative power of units and some specific situations in your organization.CASE STUDY DISCUSSION: ‡ Participants to read the short case on uncertainty . ‡ How might insights from the above case help you exercise influence in your organization? . power. and organizational politics on page 8.

Analyze the power moves and how they played out? ‡ How should the succession issue been handled to minimize the power issues that you have identified? .Case Discussion: Appointing a CEO ‡ Participants to read the above short case on corporate politics and thereafter address the following issues: ‡ How would a deeper understanding of power lead to more positive outcomes? ‡ "Everyone was motivated by power" says Fairtlough.

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