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POWER, POLITICS, AND CONFLICT

CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Power and Politics


Power: The ability of one person or group to cause another person or group to do something that they otherwise might not have done. Organizational Politics: Activities in which managers engage to increase their power and to pursue goals that favor their individual and group interests.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

The Dark Side of Power and Politics


Power and politics often have negative connotations because people associate them with attempts to use organizational resources for personal advantage and to achieve personal goals at the expense of other goals.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

The Bright Side


Managers can use power to control people and other resources so that they cooperate and help to achieve an organizations current goals. Managers can use power to engage in politics and influence the decision-making process to help promote new, more appropriate organizational goals.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Sources of Individual Power


Formal individual power is the power that stems from a persons position in an organizations hierarchy. Informal individual power is the power that stems from personal characteristics.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Sources of Formal Power


Legitimate: The power to control and use organizational resources to accomplish organizational goals. Reward: The power to give pay raises, promotion, praise, interesting projects, and other rewards to subordinates. Coercive: The power to give or withhold punishment, such as suspension, termination, or even the withholding of praise and goodwill. Information: The power that stems from access to and control over information.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Sources of Informal Power


Expert: Informal power that stems from superior ability or expertise. Referent: Informal power that stems from being liked, admired, and respected. Charismatic: An intense form of referent power that stems from an individuals personality or physical or other abilities, which induce others to believe in and follow that person.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Advice to Managers
Recognize that power and politics influence all behavior in organizations and that it is necessary to develop the skills to be able to understand and manage them. Analyze the sources of power in the function, division, and organization in which you work to identify powerful people and the organizations power structure. To influence organizational decision making and your chances of promotion, try to develop a personal power base to increase your visibility and individual power.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Organizational Conflict
The struggle that arises when the goal-directed behavior of one person or group blocks the goal-directed behavior of another person or group.

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Sources of Organizational Conflict


Differentiation
Differences in functional orientation Status inconsistencies

Task relationships
Overlapping authority Task interdependence Incompatible evaluation systems

Scarcity of resources
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Pondys Stages
Latent conflict: There is no actual conflict; however, the potential for conflict to arise is present because of the sources of conflict previously identified. Perceived conflict: Each party searches for the origins of the conflict, defines why the conflict is emerging, analyzes the events that led to its occurrence, and constructs a scenario that accounts for the problems it is experiencing with other parties. Felt conflict: The parties in conflict develop negative feelings about each other. Manifest conflict: One party decides how to react to or deal with the party that it sees as the source of the conflict, and both parties try to hurt each other and thwart each others goals. Conflict aftermath: Every conflict episode leaves a conflict aftermath that affects the way both parties perceive and respond to a future conflict episode.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Conflict Management Techniques


Individual-level techniques Bringing in outside help to give advice and counsel Providing education and sensitivity training Moving people around Group-level techniques Physically separating work groups Revising rules and standard operating procedures Providing common goals Employing negotiation

Organizational-level techniques Modifying differentiation and integration Employing integrating mechanisms Creating a common vision
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Negotiation
Negotiation is a process in which groups with conflicting interests meet together to make offers, counteroffers, and concessions to each other in an effort to resolve their differences. Third-party negotiator is an outsider skilled in handling bargaining and negotiation.
Mediator - a neutral third party who tries to help parties in conflict reconcile their differences. Arbiter - a third party who has the authority to impose a solution to a dispute.
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CHAPTER 18 Power, Politics, and Conflict

Advice to Managers
Recognize that conflict is an enduring part of organizational behavior, and develop the skills to be able to analyze and manage it. When conflict occurs, try to identify its source and move quickly to intervene to find a solution before the problem escalates. Whenever you make an important change to role and task relationships, always consider whether the change will create conflict. Recognize that good organizational design can prevent conflict from emerging. Recognize that the appropriateness of a conflict management strategy depends on the source of the conflict.
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