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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




distinguishing power and influence
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
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
kelman s theory
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
kelman s theory cont
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
the five bases of power
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
reward power
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
reward power cont
Reward Power (cont.)
  • It gives managers an advantage in obtaining desired ends from his or her work group
coercive power
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
coercive power cont
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
coercive power cont11
Coercive Power (cont.)
  • Retaliation
  • Lowered morale and/or productivity
legitimate power
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
legitimate power cont
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
referent power
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
expert power
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
expert power cont
Expert Power (cont.)
  • May not necessarily correspond with level on organizational chart, subordinates may have more expert power than the boss
informal vs formal power
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
informal vs formal power cont
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
politics the facts of organizational life
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
politics the facts of organizational life cont
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
political tactics
Political Tactics
  • Occurs at virtually all levels in an organization
  • Ingratiation: giving compliments or doing favors for superiors or coworkers; notion of “social reciprocity”
political tactics cont
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
political tactics cont23
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
devious political tactics
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
devious political tactics cont
Devious Political Tactics (cont.)
  • Exclude the opposition: involves keeping rivals away from important meetings and social occasions
political blunders
Political Blunders
  • Violating the chain of command
  • Losing your cool
  • Saying no to top management
  • Upstaging your supervisor
  • Challenging cherished beliefs
coping with organizational politics
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
  • Niccolo Machiavelli examined political effectiveness without regard for ethics or morality
  • Positively correlated with occupational attainment for individuals with above average education
machiavellianism cont
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
machiavellianism cont31
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

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
consequences of using influence tactics cont
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
consequences of using influence tactics cont34
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
consequences of using influence tactics cont35
Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)
  • Ingratiators: rely on ingratiation and flattery
  • Bystanders: watch the action rather than attempt to influence
consequences of using influence tactics cont36
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
consequences of using influence tactics cont37
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
consequences of using influence tactics cont38
Consequences of Using Influence Tactics (cont.)
  • One conclusion of the study: people should adopt a more rational, logical style
other influence tactics
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
other influence tactics cont
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
ethics of political behavior
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
ethics of political behavior cont
Ethics of Political Behavior (cont.)
  • The model encourages the adoption of nonpolitical behaviors and the rejection of behaviors that interfere with canons of justice
  • 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
obedience cont
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
obedience cont45
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
obedience cont46
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
obedience cont47
Obedience (cont.)
  • Trials were allowed to pass uneventfully until learner began making mistakes, at which time the teacher began administering the shocks
obedience cont48
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”
obedience cont49
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
obedience cont50
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