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Rational Versus Political Models of Organization. “The problem of power is critical to the effective behavior of people in organizations. Power issues occupy center stage not because individuals are greedy for more, but because some people are incapacitated without it.” (Kanter, 1977).

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slide2

“The problem of power is critical to the effective behavior of people in organizations. Power issues occupy center stage not because individuals are greedy for more, but because some people are incapacitated without it.”

(Kanter, 1977)

Absolute power renders everyone else powerless.

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

slide3

POWER AND POLITICS IN

ORGANIZATIONS

Power is the ability to bring about outcomes you desire.

“Power is the ability to get things done, to mobilize resources, to get and use whatever it is that a person needs for the goals he/she is attempting to meet.”

(Rosabeth Kanter, Men and Women of the Corporation)

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

slide4

COMMON SYMBOLS OF POWER

To What Extent a Manager Can:

  • Intercede favorably on behalf of someone in trouble with the Organization
  • Get a Desirable Placement for a Talented Subordinate
  • Get Approval for Expenditures Beyond the Budget
  • Get Above-average Salary Increases for Subordinates
  • Get Items on the Agenda at Policy Meetings
  • Get Fast Access to Top Decision Makers
  • Get Regular, Frequent Access to Top Decision Makers
  • Get Early Information About Decisions and Policy Shifts

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

strategic contingencies that influence horizontal power among departments
Strategic Contingencies That Influence Horizontal Power Among Departments

Dependency

Resources

Department Power

Centrality

Nonsubstitutability

Coping with Uncertainty

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

slide6

PEOPLE REACT MORE POSITIVELY TO

PEOPLE THEY PERCEIVE HAVE POWER

  • are more likely to inhibit aggression
  • are more likely to be cooperative
  • are more likely to talk and communicate with them
  • are more likely to perceive value in their comments

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

slide7

Model of Power and Influence

  • Sources of Personal Power
  • Expertise
  • Reputation
  • Personal characteristics
  • Network connections
  • Information
  • Sources of Position Power
  • Centrality
  • Criticality
  • Flexibility
  • Visibility
  • Relevance

POWER OF AN

INDIVIDUAL

Selection of proper

strategy to

influence others

Assertive responses

to inappropriate

influence

attempts by

others

Increasing

authority via

upward influence

INFLUENCE OVER

OTHERS

slide8

Creating Power

  • “All managers must manage down, but managers at the middle level also need to manage up.”
        • Dutton et al., Change from Within: Roads to Successful Issue Selling

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

ways to create power
Ways to Create Power
  • Develop and nurture a network of connections, especially with powerful allies
  • Manage your public image
  • Understand how power is distributed and executed within the organization
  • Choose appropriate tacticsof influence
  • Build coalitions
  • Know how to “sell” important issues

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence

power and political tactics in organizations
Power and Political Tactics in Organizations

Tactics for Increasing the Power Base

Political Tactics for Using Power

1. Enter Areas of high uncertainty

2. Create dependencies

3. Provide resources

4. Satisfy strategic contingencies

1. Build coalitions

2. Expand networks

3. Control decision premises

4. Enhance legitimacy and expertise

5. Make preferences explicit, but keep power implicit

influence tactics
Influence Tactics
  • Reason: use of facts, data, or logic
  • Values: appeal to personal or general principles
  • Emotion: appeal to target’s feelings
  • Bargaining: exchange of resources or favors
  • Ingratiation: humbleness, flattery or friendliness
  • Coercion: forceful demands or threats
  • Sanctions: use of rewards or punishment
  • Coalition: getting support from others
  • Higher authority: getting support from superiors
usage of power tactics from most to least popular
Usage of Power Tactics: From Most to Least Popular

* Sanctions is omitted in the scale that measures upward influence.

slide13

Factors Influencing Political Behavior

  • Individual factors
  • Personality
  • Organizational investment
  • Perceived job alternatives
  • Expectations of success

Favorable

outcome

 Rewards

 Averted

punishments

Political behavior

Low High

  • Organizational factors
  • Scarce resources
  • Interdependence
  • Low trust
  • Ambiguity
  • Unclear evaluation system
  • Uncertainty
  • Zero-sum reward practices
  • Participative decision

making

  • High performance pressures
  • Self-serving senior managers
effective organizational politicians
Effective Organizational Politicians
  • Understand how power is distributed and how politics operate within their organization
  • Understand the priorities & perspectives of different parties and adapt their behavior accordingly
  • Consciously work on maintaining a positive image
  • Use a wide range of power bases and influence tactics, and know when to use which ones
  • Have a clear set of ethical standards to guide their political behavior
slide15

Factors Contributing to a Sense of Powerlessness

Organization Level Factors

  • Significant organizational changes that are not explained
  • Control by rules
  • High level of centralization
  • Restricted access to networks and opportunities

Managerial Level Factors

  • Authoritarian Leadership Style
  • Lack of explanation of rationales for actions

Job Level Factors

  • Lack of role clarity
  • Lack of training
  • Limited ability to participate in decisions

Organizational Power, Politics & Influence