dubrin chapter 11 power politics and influence l.
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DuBrin, Chapter 11 Power, Politics, and Influence. Power, Politics, and Influence. Power Is the potential or ability to influence decisions and control resources. Organizational politics Is the informal approaches to gaining power through means other than merit or luck. Influence

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power politics and influence
Power, Politics, and Influence
  • Power
    • Is the potential or ability to influence decisions and control resources.
  • Organizational politics
    • Is the informal approaches to gaining power through means other than merit or luck.
  • Influence
    • Resembles power, but tends to be more subtle and indirect.
types of power and motives
Types of Power and Motives
  • Socialized Power
    • Is the use of power to achieve constructive ends.
  • Personalized Power
    • Is the use of power primarily for the sake of personal aggrandizement and gain.
sources of power
Sources of Power

(Position Power) Power Granted by the Organization

(Personal Power) Stemming from the Individual

(Resource Power) Power from Providing Resources

sources of power 1 of 3
Sources of Power (1 of 3)

Power Granted by the Organization (Position Power)

  • Legitimate poweris based on the manager’s formal position within the hierarchy of the firm.
    • Power is enhanced by establishing polices and procedures that increase the scope of the position’s control.
  • Coercive poweris controlling others through the fear of punishment.
    • To be effective, employees must fear the punishment.
  • Reward poweris controlling others through rewards or the promise of rewards.
  • Information Power– formal control over information that people need to do their work.
sources of power 2 of 3
Sources of Power (2 of 3)

Power Stemming from the Individual(Personal Power)

  • Expert power is the ability to influence others because of one’s specialized knowledge, skills, or abilities.
  • Referent power is the ability to influence others that stems from one’s desirable traits and characteristics.
  • Prestige Power – influence through status and reputation.
sources of power 1 of 37
Sources of Power (1 of 3)

Power from Providing Resources

  • Resource Dependence Perspective
    • Subunits or individuals within an organization who control or provide the resources that the organization needs on a continuing basis can become quite powerful.
    • Control of resources equals power for managers.
empowerment of group members
Empowerment of Group Members
  • Empowerment
    • Process of sharing power with group members, thereby enhancing their feelings of self-efficacy.
    • Strategic benefits of distributing power:
      • Improved productivity, quality, and satisfaction
    • Keys for the transition to effective empowerment:
      • Sharing information
      • Providing more structure (training and support)
      • Gradually replacing traditional organizational structure
      • Allowing individuals and teams to determine how to achieve objectives
      • Above all, trusting in employees to do the right thing
5 stages in the process of empowerment



5 Stages in the Process of Empowerment

Stage 1

Conditions leading to a psychological state of powerlessness

Stage 2

The use of managerial strategies and techniques

Stage 3

To provide self-efficacy information to subordinates, using four resources

Stage 4

Results in empowering experience of subordinate

Stage 5

Leading to behavioral effects

Organizational factors


Reward system

Nature of job

Participative management

Goal setting

Feedback system


Contingent/ competence- based reward

Job enrichment

Enactive attainment

Vicarious experience

Verbal persuasion

Emotional arousal

Strengthening of effort— performance expectancy or belief in personal efficacy

Initiation/ persistence of behavior to accomplish task objectives


Remove conditions listed under Stage 1

Source: Jay A. Conger and Rabindra N. Kanungo, “The Empowerment Process: Integrating Theory and Practice,” Academy of Management Review (July 1988): p.475.

signs of empowerment disempowerment
Signs of Empowerment / Disempowerment
  • Empowered Employees
    • Take initiative in ambiguous situations
    • Identify opportunities in ambiguous situations
    • Apply critical thinking skills
    • Offer judgments about how decisions support shared purpose
    • Identify and act on opportunities to improve systems
    • Optimize resources by reducing expenses and finding opportunities to invest in new resources
signs of empowerment disempowerment11
Signs of Empowerment / Disempowerment
  • Disempowered Employees
    • Wait for a designated authority to take charge
    • Address problem but fail to see opportunity
    • Accept decisions without questioning
    • Discuss but not able to apply information about shared purpose
    • Attempt consensus but yield to higher authority when failing at consensus
    • Focus on resource questions only when directed to do so
factors contributing to and examples of political behavior
Factors Contributing To and Examples of Political Behavior
  • Organizations have a political nature due to:
    • Coalitions of interests competing for resources.
    • A pyramidal power structure that concentrates power at the top of the organization.
    • Downsizing and team structures limit upward mobility for ambitious managers with a strong need for power.
    • Decentralization disperses power in the organization.
    • Machiavellian manipulation of others and the organization for personal gain by some managers.
effective use of politics
Ethical Behaviors

Develop power contacts

Manage your impression

Control vital information

Keep informed

Be courteous, pleasant, and positive

Ask satisfied customer to contact your manager

Avoid political blunders

Use flattery sincerely

Unethical Behaviors

Engage in backstabbing


Set a person up for failure

Play territorial games (turf wars)

Effective Use of Politics
organizational influence tactics
Organizational Influence Tactics
  • Leading by example
  • Assertiveness
  • Rationality
  • Ingratiation
  • Exchange
  • Inspirational appeal and emotional display
  • Joking and kidding
the control of dysfunctional politics and ethical considerations
The Control of Dysfunctional Politics and Ethical Considerations

Excessive politics and influence tactics can harm an organization and its members.

Ways to control these activities:

  • Rely on objective measures of performance tied to proper and significant goals for the organization.
  • Align individual goals and objectives to be congruent with those of the organization to increase commitment and performance.
  • Practice open communications to remove the political value of information and to increase the overall understanding of the organization.