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CHAPTER 6. POWER AND POLITICS. Distinguishing Power and Influence. Underlies the managers’ effectiveness; is essential to managers Power is the ability to change the behavior of others. It is not always legitimate. Distinguishing Power and Influence (cont.).

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Chapter 6 l.jpg
CHAPTER 6

POWER

AND

POLITICS


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Distinguishing Power and Influence

  • Underlies the managers’ effectiveness; is essential to managers

  • Power is the ability to change the behavior of others.

  • It is not always legitimate


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Distinguishing Power and Influence (cont.)

  • Power is distinguished from authority and influence:

    • Authority: the right to try to change or direct others; notion of legitimacy

    • Influence: More subtle; less reliable; weaker; relies on face to face interactions


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Kelman’s Theory

  • According to Kelman, there are three reasons why people give in to others’ attempts to influence them:

    • Compliance: the employee believes he will be rewarded or avoid being punished if he allows himself to be influenced

    • Identification: a person allows himself to be influenced because he desires to maintain a personally satisfying relationship


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Kelman’s Theory (cont.)

  • Internalization: a person accepts the influence attempt because he believes that the behavior he is asked to engage in is correct and appropriate


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The Five Bases of Power

  • Developed by French and Raven

  • These bases of power are actually “sources” from which power is derived:

    • Reward power

    • Coercive power

    • Legitimate power

    • Referent power

    • Expert power


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Reward Power

  • Refers to one’s ability to determine who will receive particular rewards

  • The relationship between rewards and performance should be very clear

  • Manager should have ability to administer both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards in order to direct the behaviors of employees


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Reward Power (cont.)

  • It gives managers an advantage in obtaining desired ends from his or her work group


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Coercive Power

  • Stems from the capacity to produce fear in others

  • Threat of punishment can be a strong means of invoking compliance, e.g. demotions, suspension, salary cuts


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Coercive Power (cont.)

  • Managers are sometimes expected to be coercive, e.g. if an employee isn’t doing his/her job or when s/he interferes with another’s job

  • Care must be exercised when using power, repercussions of being too heavy handed can include:

    • Turnover


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Coercive Power (cont.)

  • Retaliation

  • Lowered morale and/or productivity


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Legitimate Power

  • Stems from the willingness of others to accept an individual’s direction

  • Two sources include social conditioning and designation of legitimate power

  • Social conditioning: the conditioning that we receive from childhood to accept certain figures as possessors of legitimate power, e.g. teachers, foremen, managers


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Legitimate Power (cont.)

  • Designation: Persons may gain legitimate power by being designated with it, someone who already possesses legitimate power grants it to them

  • Legitimate Power: effective only if it is accepted by people it is intended to control


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Referent Power

  • Possessed by people with attractive personalities or other special qualities

  • People want to be like them

  • Their vigor and appearance of success play an important role in their power

  • People like to identify with the qualities of an attractive individual


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Expert Power

  • Possessed by those who are perceived as knowledgeable or talented in a given area

  • People are likely to follow those who are seen as having expertise, e.g. physician, coach


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Expert Power (cont.)

  • May not necessarily correspond with level on organizational chart, subordinates may have more expert power than the boss


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Informal vs. Formal Power

  • Legitimate, reward, and coercive power bases are more formal in nature, they have greater impact on immediate behavior

  • Expert and referent power bases are more informal in nature, they have greater impact on employees’ overall satisfaction and performance


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Informal vs. Formal Power (cont.)

  • People who have formal power tend to remain in their positions longer than do those who rely on informal power

  • Formal power rests in the position that one holds in the organization, while informal power rests in the individual’s personal characteristics


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Politics: The Facts of Organizational Life

  • Can be defined as “those activities taken within organizations to acquire, develop, and use power and other resources to obtain one’s preferred outcomes in a situation in which there is uncertainty or disagreement about choices”

  • Politics is power in action, it involves the playing out of power and influence


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Politics: The Facts of Organizational Life (cont.)

  • Often regarded in a negative light, but it is actually neutral, as is power

  • All members of an organization may exhibit political behavior


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Political Tactics

  • Occurs at virtually all levels in an organization

  • Ingratiation: giving compliments or doing favors for superiors or coworkers; notion of “social reciprocity”


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Political Tactics (cont.)

  • Forming coalitions and networks: forming friendships with people in upper-level management to help people gain access to important information

  • Impression management: managing one’s personal appearance and style

  • Information management: managing the information that is shared with others


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Political Tactics (cont.)

  • Promoting the opposition: unusual tactic to get people out of the way is to aid political rivals

  • Pursue line responsibility: Line people are more visible, have greater influence, and are often seen as more upwardly mobile


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Devious Political Tactics

  • Take no prisoners: involves getting rid of literally all people who may resent your views

  • Divide and conquer: involves creating a feud among two or more people so that they will be off-balance and unable to attack you personally


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Devious Political Tactics (cont.)

  • Exclude the opposition: involves keeping rivals away from important meetings and social occasions


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Political Blunders

  • Violating the chain of command

  • Losing your cool

  • Saying no to top management

  • Upstaging your supervisor

  • Challenging cherished beliefs


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Coping with Organizational Politics

  • As a manager, set an example to subordinates by avoiding political games yourself

  • Give clear job assignments so that conditions that lead to political behavior can be mitigated

  • Eliminate coalitions and cliques; job rotation



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Machiavellianism

  • Niccolo Machiavelli examined political effectiveness without regard for ethics or morality

  • Positively correlated with occupational attainment for individuals with above average education


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Machiavellianism (cont.)

  • Machiavellian individuals are thought to be socially domineering and manipulative; assumed to engage in political behavior

  • Christie and Geis use the Mach Scale to determine how Machiavellian people’s attitudes are

    • Focuses on whether or not someone:

      • uses manipulative interpersonal tactics


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Machiavellianism (cont.)

  • has an unfavorable view of human nature

  • People who score high are able to control their social interactions and effectively manipulate others, and are very effective in face-to-face meetings


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics

    • Kipnis and Schmidt measured six tactics for influencing others, via use of a questionnaire

      • Reason: relies on using data, logic, and discussion

      • Friendliness: interest, goodwill, and esteem are demonstrated to create a favorable environment


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • Coalition formation: other people in the organization are mobilized to support requests

    • Bargaining: relies on negotiation and exchanging favors

    • Assertiveness: relies on directiveness and forcefulness in communication


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • Appeal to higher authority: the influence of those higher in the organization is invoked to back up a request

  • Responses indicated that four influence styles are used by people:

    • Shotguns: refuse to take no for an answer and use all tactics to get what they want

    • Tacticians: influence others through reason and logic


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • Ingratiators: rely on ingratiation and flattery

    • Bystanders: watch the action rather than attempt to influence


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • Performance evaluations were then compared for the respondents that took the questionnaire, and it was determined that those persons who used the shotgun style of influencing were viewed less favorably


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • Male supervisors gave the highest rating to male Tacticians, and for females, gave the highest ratings to Ingratiators and Bystanders

    • Salary was associated with influence style, with Tacticians earning the most, followed by Bystanders, Shotguns, and Ingratiators


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    Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • One conclusion of the study: people should adopt a more rational, logical style


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    Other Influence Tactics

    • Create appearance of higher status

      • Individuals with manner of dress or use of titles exert greater influence

      • Employ humor

    • Create appearance that behavior is normative

      • Show it is proper behavior or action, e.g. bartenders putting tips in the cup


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    Other Influence Tactics (cont.)

    • “Foot in the door” principle

      • Influence others to comply with a request for a sizable favor they would not usually agree to


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    Ethics of Political Behavior

    • Cavanagh, Moberg, Velasquez offer a model to guide one in determining ethics of a political action

    • In the model an action is political only if:

      • The behavior respects the rights of all affected parties

      • The behavior respects the canons of justice


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    Ethics of Political Behavior (cont.)

    • The model encourages the adoption of nonpolitical behaviors and the rejection of behaviors that interfere with canons of justice


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    Obedience

    • Studied by Milgram in his classic electric shock study; to examine the extent to which people would obey directives, even if the demands violated their moral responsibilities


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • Forty adult males from a cross section of occupations were paid to serve as subjects in what was described to them as a learning experiment

    • They were trained to read a list of word pairs to a person seated on the other side of the wall from them


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • Learner was supposedly hooked up to an electric shock device, and “teacher” was to administer shocks to the learner for each incorrect answer

    • The teacher actually observed the learner being strapped into his chair


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • The control panel of shock device was labeled with various intensities of shocks, from 15 to 450 volts in strength; they were also labeled with descriptive adjectives, e.g., slight shock, moderate shock, extreme intensity shock, severe shock, and XXX


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • Trials were allowed to pass uneventfully until learner began making mistakes, at which time the teacher began administering the shocks


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • The learners were trained to beg the teacher to stop the shocks, and would pound the wall and scream after the shocks were given; eventually they would explain that the pain was too much for their hearts to take, and the teacher would be instructed by the authority figures conducting the experiment to “Please go on,” or told, “It is essential that you continue”


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • The astounding results showed that 65% of all teachers administering what they believed to be potentially lethal doses of shock to subjects showed obvious signs of emotional stress, e.g., groaning, hand shakiness, nail biting, nervous laughter


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    Obedience (cont.)

    • These findings suggest that when people take on roles that prescribe obedience, the sense of responsibility for the outcomes of their own conduct is likely to be diminished

    • Some believe that perhaps our society bends too much to authority figures


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