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Reframing Organizations , 3 rd ed. Chapter 10. The Manager as a Politician. The Manager as a Politician. Skills of the manager as a politician Ethics and politics. Skills of the Manager as a Politician. Agenda setting (knowing what you want and how you’ll try to get it)

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Chapter 10

Chapter 10

The Manager as a Politician

The manager as a politician
The Manager as a Politician

  • Skills of the manager as a politician

  • Ethics and politics

Skills of the manager as a politician
Skills of the Manager as a Politician

  • Agenda setting (knowing what you want and how you’ll try to get it)

    • Vision or objective

    • Strategy for achieving the vision

  • Mapping the political terrain

    • Determine the channels of informal communication.

    • Identify the major players.

    • Analyze possibilities for internal and external mobilization.

    • Anticipate the strategies others are likely to employ.

Drawing the political map
Drawing the Political Map

  • Frame the central issue—the key choice that people disagree about.

  • Identify the key players (those who are most likely to influence the outcome).

    • Where does each player fall in terms of the key issue?

    • How much power is each player likely to exert?

  • Example: Belgian bureaucracy

    • Key issue: Are automated records a good thing?

The political map as seen by the techies strong support for and weak opposition to change


Top Management








Pro-Change Opposed to Change


The Political Map as Seen by the “Techies”—Strong Support for and Weak Opposition to Change

The real political map a battle ground with strong players on both sides


Top Management










Pro-ChangeOpposed to Change

The Real Political Map: A Battle Ground with Strong Players on Both Sides


Skills of the manager as a politician ii
Skills of the Manager as a Politician (II)

  • Networking and building coalitions

    • Identify relevant relationships.

    • Assess who might resist.

    • Develop relationships with potential opponents.

    • Persuade first, use more forceful methods only if necessary.

Skills of the manager as a politician iii
Skills of the Manager as a Politician (III)

  • Bargaining and negotiation

    • Value creating: look for joint gain, win-win solutions.

    • Value claiming: try to maximize your own gains.

Value creating getting to yes fisher and ury
Value Creating: Getting to Yes (Fisher and Ury)

  • Separate people from problem. “Deal with people as human beings, and the problem on its merits.”

  • Focus on interests, not positions.

  • Invent options for mutual gain.

  • Insist on objective criteria—standards of fairness for a good decision.

Value claiming the strategy of conflict schelling
Value Claiming: The Strategy of Conflict (Schelling)

  • Bargaining is a mixed-motive game (incentives to complete and collaborate).

  • Bargaining is a process of interdependent decisions.

  • Controlling others’ uncertainty gives power.

  • Emphasize threats, not sanctions.

  • Threats are only effective if credible.

  • Calculate the optimal level of threat: too much or too little can undermine your position.

Morality and politics
Morality and Politics

  • Ethical criteria in bargaining and organizational politics

    • Mutuality: Are all parties operating under the same understanding of the rules?

    • Generality: Does a specific action follow a principle of moral conduct applicable to all comparable situations?

    • Openness: Are we willing to make our decisions public?

    • Caring: Does this action show care for the legitimate interests of others?


  • Politics can be sordid and destructive but can also be the vehicle for achieving noble purposes.

  • Managers need to develop the skills of constructive politicians:

    • Fashioning an agenda

    • Mapping the political terrain

    • Networking and building coalitions

    • Negotiating