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Power & Politics in Organizations. Professor Stephen Standifird GSBA 594 Welcome, I’m glad you’re here! Today’s Agenda Go over syllabus, in detail Establish ground rules for the class Identify your perceptions of power and politics Introduce French & Raven . Syllabus Overview.

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power politics in organizations
Power & Politics in Organizations
  • Professor Stephen Standifird
    • GSBA 594
    • Welcome, I’m glad you’re here!
  • Today’s Agenda
    • Go over syllabus, in detail
    • Establish ground rules for the class
    • Identify your perceptions of power and politics
    • Introduce French & Raven
syllabus overview
Syllabus Overview
  • Course Description and Objectives
  • Reading Material - 3 books, 5 articles
  • Evaluation
    • Class Participation (40%)
    • Personal Assignments (60%)
    • Reading the material (100%)
  • Course Outline
    • Assignments designed to follow content
    • Content follows the readings
ground rules for class
Ground Rules for Class
  • First Rule
    • My job is to facilitate, NOT participate (Most of my opinions are accurately reflected in the readings)
    • I will NOT be lecturing on the material
  • Second Rule
    • You MUST read the material and attend the class in order to effectively participate
  • Third Rule
    • Everyone is expected to participate and all participants should be treated with respect
ground rules for participation
Ground Rules for Participation
  • Be on time and ready to work (having read the material)
  • Making comments that encourages further discussion (person attacks or comments that discourage disagreement are not appropriate)
  • Introduce questions into the conversation (your questions will often help to facilitate further discussion)
  • Clearly state your opinions and feel free to disagree with yourself later in the discussion
  • It is OK (even preferred) to disagree (with yourself and with others)
  • Attack ideas but never attack the individual sharing the ideas
  • Recognizing and accepting the diverse opinions of our class
  • Listen and refer respectfully to the comments made by others
your perceptions of power and politics
Your Perceptions of Power and Politics
  • What is Power?
  • What is Politics?
french and raven 1959 the basis of social power
French and Raven (1959):The Basis of Social Power
  • Power is influence (measured as the maximum possible influence of O over P)
  • Power is more than your formal position
  • Social Power (the power to influence others) comes in many forms
  • Reward Power, Coercive Power, Legitimate Power, Referent Power, and Expert Power
reward power
Reward Power
  • Influence based on the ability to reward (money CAN be a source of power)
  • Resistance = None, usually
  • Appropriateness = Generally OK
  • State Change = No, requires constant attention
coercive power
Coercive Power
  • Influence based on the ability to punish (might makes right)
  • Resistance = Potentially quite strong
  • Appropriateness = Often not
  • State Change = No, could provoke strong negative response
legitimate power
Legitimate Power
  • Influence based on the legitimate right of someone to influence others (often embedded in position, always complex)
  • Resistance = Usually quite low
  • Appropriateness = Yes, by definition
  • State Change = Often involves a state change
referent power
Referent Power
  • Influence by example, peer pressure power (I want to be like Mike)
  • Resistance = None
  • Appropriateness = Generally OK
  • State Change = Very much so
expert power
Expert Power
  • Influence based on the ability to convince others to follow your good advice (information is power)
  • Resistance = Generally low
  • Appropriateness = Generally OK
  • State Change = Not really
discussion questions
Discussion Questions
  • What is your opinion on the bases identified?
  • Are there sources of power not identified by the author?
  • Which of the bases identified would you feel most comfortable using?
  • Which of the bases identified are most important and/or useful for the average manager?
  • If you were planning to take over the world, which of the bases identified would you find most useful?
  • How might this information be helpful to you personally?
  • What information/understanding am you still missing in order to make this information useful?
today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • It’s all about “The Prince”
    • A brief historical background
    • A summary of key principles
    • Discussion
the prince a historical background
The Prince - A Historical Background
  • Written in 1513 (long time ago)
  • He had been a bureaucrat/advisor to rulers
  • Suddenly found himself without a job
  • Wrote The Prince and dedicated it to Lorenzo the Magnificent of the Medicis
  • Setting the stage for long-term power of a KING
  • Guaranteed never to be employed again
  • Even if following advice, could not admit it
the prince summary principles
The Prince - Summary Principles
  • Very action oriented
  • Do it by whatever means necessary
  • But “look” good while you are doing it
  • Make others dependent on you
  • But do not become dependent on any one else or leave anyone in position to challenge you
  • This does not mean you should be cruel
  • However, it does not mean you should strive to be loved
  • You can not isolate yourself from others but must pick your confidants carefully
the prince summary principles16
The Prince - Summary Principles
  • The life of a change oriented person is particularly challenging
  • Thus, it is particularly important for the change agent to establish themselves as powerful
  • Unfortunately, many leaders will have a difficult time during periods of change
  • Such is the cruel reality of life
the prince your thoughts
The Prince - Your Thoughts?
  • Like it, hate, somewhere in between?
  • The underlying assumptions of “The Prince”?
  • Do you agree with these assumptions?
  • If not, does this change your opinion of “The Prince”?
  • Is it better to be feared or loved? What are Machiavelli’s assumptions here? Is this a valid question?
  • Your thoughts on Machiavelli’s discussion of “Change”?
  • How applicable is Machiavelli today?
  • What, if anything, is missing?
subgroup exercise role play
Subgroup Exercise/Role Play
  • Group One: Machiavelli Discredited
    • Why Machiavelli’s work no longer applies. Indeed, it would be detrimental for a manager to apply Machiavelli’s work in today’s environment.
  • Group Two: In Defense of Machiavelli
    • Why Machiavelli’s writings are every bit as applicable today as they were in the early 1500s. Indeed, managers would be wise to follow Machiavelli’s advice.
machiavelli vs french raven
Machiavelli vs French & Raven
  • What “sources of power” as described by French & Raven are also discussed in “The Prince”?
  • What “sources of power” as described by French & Raven are not discussed in “The Prince”?
  • Do you see this as a major oversight or merely a different way of viewing power?
machiavelli vs french raven20
Machiavelli vs French & Raven
  • What are the advantages associated with the sources of power identified in “The Prince”?
  • What are the disadvantages associated with the sources of power identified in “The Prince”?
  • What are the potential problems associated with ignoring the “other” sources of power?
  • What does this all say about the applicability of Machiavelli’s work?
influence science and practice
Influence: Science and Practice
  • Chapter One: Introduction to Click, Whirr
  • Notable Quotables:
    • “We need shortcuts… We will accept their imperfections since there is really no other choice.” (p. 7)
    • “They make us terribly vulnerable to anyone who does know how they work.” (p. 10)
    • “The ability to manipulate without the appearance of manipulation.” (p. 12)
    • “The advantage… efficiency and economy. The disadvantage… vulnerability to silly and costly mistakes.” (p. 17)
influence science and practice22
Influence: Science and Practice
  • General thoughts, comments or questions on the idea of click, whirr responses?
  • Why is this information important?
  • How should we be looking at this information?
  • How can we make ourselves less vulnerable to click, whirr responses?
  • How can we (should we) use this information to influence others?
  • Simple messages are the best way to influence others. Yes, No? Why?
focus of readings
Focus of Readings
  • How might this information be used (for good or for evil)?
  • How can we make sure this information is not used against us?
reciprocity give and take
Reciprocity: Give and TAKE
  • Notable Quotables:
    • “A person can trigger a feeling of indebtedness by doing us an uninvited favor - an obligation to receive.” (p. 30-31)
    • “Highly disagreeable to be in a state of obligation.” (p. 34)
    • “As long as it is not viewed as an obvious trick, the concession will likely stimulate a return concession.” (p. 45)
    • “The rule says favors are to be met with favors; it does not require that tricks be met with favors.” (p. 47)
reciprocity give and take25
Reciprocity: Give and TAKE
  • General thoughts?
  • How does this fit with Machiavelli’s discussion?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • “Be kind to others and you will receive good Karma.”
  • Giving gifts to get donations to a worthy cause. Is this an appropriate use of the reciprocity response?
  • How to defend yourself from the reciprocity response?
  • How to use the reciprocity response to your favor?
commitment and consistency
Commitment and Consistency
  • Notable Quotable:
    • “If I can get you to make a commitment, I will have set the stage for your automatic and ill-considered consistency with that earlier commitment” (p. 61)
    • “You can use small commitments to manipulate a person’s self-image” (p. 67)
    • “We accept responsibility when we think we have chosen to perform in the absence of strong outside pressure” (p. 82)
    • “Securing an initial commitment is the key” (p. 96)
    • “Commitments are most effective when they are active, public, effortful, and viewed as internally motivated” (p. 96)
commitment and consistency27
Commitment and Consistency
  • General thoughts?
  • How to defend yourself from the commitment trap?
  • How to use the commitment trap to your favor?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • How can this information be used for good?
  • Can this information explain the high level of divorce in the US as compared to many other countries?
social proof
Social Proof
  • Notable Quotable:
    • “We view a behavior as correct in a given situation to the degree that we see other performing it” (p. 100)
    • “Works best when the proof is provided by the actions of many other people” (p. 103)
    • “Works best under two conditions. The first is uncertainty. The second is similarity” (p. 140)
    • “No leader can hope to persuade, regularly and single-handedly, all the members of the group. The most influential leaders are those who know how to arrange the group conditions to allow the principle of social proof to work in their favor” (p. 133)
social proof29
Social Proof
  • General thoughts?
  • How to defend yourself from social proof?
  • How to use social proof to your favor?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • How can this information be used for good?
  • What are the dangers of using social proof as a mechanism of influence?
liking the friendly thief
Liking: The Friendly Thief

Notable Quotable:

  • “A halo effect occurs when one positive characteristic of a person dominates the way that person is viewed by others,” for example physical attractiveness (p. 148)
  • “We like people who are similar to use… in areas of opinions, personality traits, background, or lifestyle” (p. 150)
  • “An innocent association with either bad things or good things will influence how people feel about us” (p. 162)
  • “Upon recognizing that we like a requestor inordinately well, we should step back from the social interaction, mentally separate the requester from his or her offer, and make any compliance decision based solely on the merits of the offer” (p. 1176)
liking the friendly thief31
Liking: The Friendly Thief
  • General thoughts?
  • How to defend yourself from Liking?
  • How to use Liking to your favor (let’s be specific)?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • How can this information be used for good?
  • What are the dangers of using Liking as a mechanism of influence?
  • Notable Quotable:
    • “When reacting to authority in an automatic fashion, there is a tendency to do so in response to the mere symbols of authority rather than to its substance” (p. 201)
    • “Titles are simultaneously the most difficult and the easiest symbols of authority to acquire” (p. 188)
    • “Finely styled and expensive clothes carry an aura of status and position, as do similar trappings such as jewlry and cars” (p. 195)
    • “Is this authority truly an expert? How truthful can we expect this expert to be?” (p. )
  • General thoughts?
  • How to defend yourself from Authority?
  • How to use Authority to your favor?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • How can this information be used for good?
  • What are the dangers of using Authority as a mechanism of influence?
  • Notable Quotable:
    • “Opportunities seem more valuable when they are less available” (p. 205)
    • “People see a thing as more desirable when it recently has become less available than when it has been scarce all along” (p. 222)
    • “Not only do we want the same item more when it is scarce, we want it most when we are in competition for it” (p. 223)
    • “The joy is not in the experiencing of a scarce commodity but in the possessing of it” (p. 228)
  • General thoughts?
  • How to defend yourself from Scarcity?
  • How to use Scarcity to your favor?
  • How can this be used to help someone develop a sustainable power position?
  • How can this information be used for good?
  • What are the dangers of using Scarcity as a mechanism of influence?
instant influence
Instant Influence
  • Notable Quotable:
    • “The pace of modern life demands that we frequently use shortcuts” (p. 234)
    • “The real treachery, and what we cannot tolerate, is any attempt to make a profit in a way that threatens the reliability of our shortcuts” (p. 239)
    • “The use of these triggers is not necessarily exploitative. It only becomes so when the trigger is not a natural feature of the situation but is fabricated by the practitioner” (p. 240)
managing with power decisions implementation
Managing with Power“Decisions & Implementation”

“To say, a leader is preoccupied with power, is like saying that a tennis player is preoccupied with making shots his opponent cannot return. Of course leaders are preoccupied with power! The significant questions are: What means do they use to gain it? How do they exercise it? To what ends do they exercise it?” (p12)

managing with power decisions implementation38
Managing with Power“Decisions & Implementation”
  • Against hierarchy – non-cooperative and vulnerable to the will of one
  • Against culture – tough to build and non-adaptive
  • Against decision making – not enough by itself

“We almost invariably spend more time living with the consequences of our decisions than we do making them . . . it would seem at least useful to spend more time implementing decisions and dealing with their ramifications.” (p19)

managing with power decisions implementation39
Managing with Power“Decisions & Implementation”
  • “It is my thesis that problems of implementation are, in many instances, problems in developing political will and expertise – the desire to accomplish something, even against opposition, and the knowledge and skills that make it possible to do so.” (p7-8)
  • “In evaluating a leader, the key question about his behavioral traits is not whether they are attractive or unattractive, but whether they are useful.” (p13)
managing with power decisions implementation40
Managing with Power“Decisions & Implementation”

Power Process:

1. Decide what your goals are.

2. Diagnose patterns of dependence and interdependence.

3. Analyze views of powerful individuals.

4. Determine the power base of potential influential persons.

5. Determine your power base.

6. Determine which power strategies/tactics seems most appropriate/effective.

7. Choose the appropriate course of action.

managing with power decisions implementation41
Managing with Power“Decisions & Implementation”
  • It’s all (or at least mostly) about power. True/False?
  • “The decisions are not as important as the implementation.” Your thoughts?
  • “In evaluating a leader, the key question about his behavioral traits is not whether they are attractive or unattractive, but whether they are useful.” Do you agree?
  • The “Power Process.” Does this make sense? Can you use this information? What’s missing?
managing with power when is power used
Managing with Power“When Is Power Used”
  • “All these data together suggest that power is more important in major decisions . . . for domains in which performance is more difficult to assess . . . and in instances in which there is likely to be uncertainty and disagreement." (p37)
  • “Power is used more frequently under conditions of moderate interdependence.” (p38)
managing with power when is power used43
Managing with Power“When Is Power Used”
  • “One factor that is critical in affecting the nature and the amount of interdependence is the scarcity of resources. Slack resources reduce interdependence, while scarcity increases it.” (p40)
  • “The greater the task specialization in the organization, the more likely there will be disagreement.” (p42)
  • “Serious disagreements . . . are more likely to emerge in the absence of clear objectives or in the absence of an external threat or competition sufficient to cause subunits to work together.”
managing with power when is power used44
Managing with Power“When Is Power Used”

Summary List of Power Creating Circumstances:

  • The Big Three

1. When resources are scarce2. When goals and objectives are unclear

3. When performance is difficult to measure

  • Less Critical Factors

4. Where there are minimal external threats5. Where there exists a certain level of dependency6. Where there is moderate to high uncertainty

managing with power when is power used45
Managing with Power“When Is Power Used”
  • “The appearance of power can actually provide power, and thus these efforts to maintain the symbols of power are significant.” (p45)
  • “Your success in an organization depends not only on your intelligence, industriousness, and luck, but also on the match between your political skills and what is required in the position you occupy.” (p47)
  • “Most people search for positions in which their particular intellectual competencies and interests will be useful and important. But they seldom analyze jobs in terms of power and influence.” (p48)
  • Implicate here is the recognition that not all jobs require the same level of politicing – find what is right for you!
managing with power when is power used46
Managing with Power“When Is Power Used”
  • What do you think about the list of “Power Creating Circumstances”? Anything missing? Anything you disagree with? Any one of these jump out at you?
  • Let’s get specific! Where/when is power likely to be most important/exercised?
  • “Your success in an organization depends not only on your intelligence, industriousness, and luck, but also on the match between your political skills and what is required in the position you occupy.” How do you go about finding the match between your political skills and what is required? How important is it that you do so?
managing with power diagnosing power in orgs
Managing with Power“Diagnosing Power in Orgs”

“To be successful in getting things done in organizations, it is critical that you be able to diagnose the relative power of the various participants and comprehend the patterns of interdependence.” (p49)

“There are three tasks required . . .

  • First, the relevant subunits or subdivisions must be identified.
  • Then, one must come up with some indicators of power and apply them to the identified units to assess their relative power ranking . . .
  • Finally, . . . the patterns of interdependence and interdependence among them must be considered in order to determine an effective course of action.” (p50)
managing with power diagnosing power in orgs48
Managing with Power“Diagnosing Power in Orgs”

Methods for Assessing Power:

“Power is not employed when there are no differences in perspective, or when no conflict exists, As a consequence, power is most readily diagnosed by looking at important decisions, which involve interdependent activities and which lead to disagreement.”

  • Listen to statements made by others
  • Focus on how others talk about the person
  • Don’t trust what you hear BUT don’t underestimate the value of “the talk.”
managing with power diagnosing power in orgs49
Managing with Power“Diagnosing Power in Orgs”
  • Look at representational indicators
    • Whose being brought in on the major decisions
  • Observe Consequences
    • Who gets the resources, projects approved, the biggest budget
  • Look at Symbols of Power
    • What perks to certain people/groups get?
    • Who’s having dinner with whom?
    • What parking spaces do people get?
    • Office space is always an issue
    • Rule based responses don’t tell you much - look for subtle clues
managing with power diagnosing power in orgs50
Managing with Power“Diagnosing Power in Orgs”

“Be conservative in your estimates; it is preferable to overestimate potential dependencies rather than to be surprised at the last minute by a person or group you failed to consider; the best surprise is no surprise.”

managing with power diagnosing power in orgs51
Managing with Power“Diagnosing Power in Orgs”
  • Asking about power reputation. How would you do this? Let’s be specific.
  • What are potential indicators of power?
  • How would you determine who’s the most powerful faculty member in the CBE?
  • You are about to start a new job. What power indicators should you be conscious of walking in on the first day?
sources of power
Sources of Power

“Our first task is to determine whether the most critical source of power is individual characteristics or location in the organization. Although individual attributes are important, my view is that being in the right place is more essential.” Pg. 69

where does power come from
Where does power come from?

“Structural perspectives on power argue that power is derived from where each person stands in the division of labor and the communication system of the organization… Power, then, comes from the control over resources, from ties one has to powerful others, and from the formal authority one obtains because of one’s position in the hierarchy.” Pg. 75

where does power come from54
Where does power come from?
  • “An important source of power is the match between style, skill, and capacities and what is required by the situation… in technical service projects, with less task uncertainty, internal communication stars were most influential, while in applied research units, boundary spanners carried the most weight.” Pg 77
  • Bottom Line: Who is best equipped to handle the uncertainty issues facing the firm.
where does power come from55
Where does power come from?

“As situational factors change, the attributions required to be influential and effective change as well. That is why it is important not only to find positions with the political demands that match our skills and interests, but also to tailor our actions to the circumstance we confront.” Pg. 81

where does power come from56
Where does power come from?
  • General thoughts on the importance of structural power?
  • How does this all fit with Cialdini’s work?
  • IF position matters, how do we assure a good position for ourselves?
  • Pfeffer suggests that the “match” is important. How do we assure a good “match”?
resources allies and the new golden rule
Resources, Allies, and the New Golden Rule

“New Golden Rule: the person with the gold makes the rules” pg. 83

“Begin by building a power base in a niche that is largely uncontested… the most precious resources in any organization is an incremental resource, not already spoken for, that can then be used to solve the organization’s current problems… power can often be increased by finding underutilized resources and exploiting them.”

resources allies and the new golden rule58
Resources, Allies, and the New Golden Rule

“Failures in implementation are almost invariably failures to build successful coalitions. Although networks of allies can obviously be misused, the are nevertheless essential in order to get things done. And, allies must be put in place through whatever practical means are at hand.” Pg. 108

“Respect, competence, and intelligence are not enough. One needs friends and allies to attend to the many details of implementation, which are often too much for one person… Allies and resources are important sources of power, and as such, should not be wasted.” Pg. 110

resources allies and the new golden rule59
Resources, Allies, and the New Golden Rule
  • The New Golden Rule – your thoughts?
  • The uncontested resources. How practical is this approach?
  • “Allies must be put in place through whatever practical means are at hand”
  • Do you agree, disagree? How is this done?
location in the communication network
Location in the Communication Network

“Power is a function of one’s position in the network of communications and social relations, where this position is assessed not only simply in terms of structural centrality, but also in terms of the power of the people with whom one is connected.” Pg. 111

“To develop influence, we need to be plugged into the structure of communication and interaction, and that means seeking out interactions, even social interactions, strategically.” Pg 124

location in the communication network61
Location in the Communication Network

“Social networks are, then, structures that can be built deliberately, and our place in the network of communications is something that is under our control. We can work the numbers or the halls – and often it is more effective to work the halls.” Pg. 125

location in the communication network62
Location in the Communication Network
  • Seeking out interactions, even social interactions, strategically. Your thoughts?
  • What if you can not stand to hang out with your colleagues? Are you doomed?
formal authority reputation and performance
Formal Authority, Reputation and Performance
  • “The power inherent in a given formal position is, therefore, power invested in that position by all (or at least most) members of the social organization in which the position is located” pg. 130
  • “People with reputations for being influential and effective will, all other things being equal, find it easier to obtain allies and supporters” pg. 137
  • The reputation for having power is almost as important as the reputation for loyalty and competence, since, as we have seen, the perception of power can help to create power” pg. 139
formal authority reputation and performance64
Formal Authority, Reputation and Performance
  • “Your reputation is formed soon after you enter the organization, and thus it is essential to start out on the right course” pg. 140
  • Because of the interconnected nature of reputation, performance and position, it is exceedingly difficult to work yourself out of a hole” pg. 145
  • “We need to deemphasize our preoccupation with correctness as a measure of performance” pg. 144
  • “If I know that I will lose on an issue that I consider important and about which I am convinced I am right, should I carry on the fight anyway? My reply is, in almost all instances, no” pg. 140
formal authority reputation and performance65
Formal Authority, Reputation and Performance
  • There is an issue you are passionate about but you know you are going to be over-ruled by the rest of the group. Should you go along or continue to resist?
  • For a variety of reasons, you find that no one in the organization considers you to be an influential person. What to do?
the importance of being in the right unit
The Importance of Being in the Right Unit
  • “Those units that have the oversight of critical areas have the potential to become quite powerful. Whether they do become powerful depends, to some extent, on whether the units can actually cope with the critical problems confronting the organization” pg. 154
  • “Subunit power comes from being unified, being able to deal with critical organizational problems, and from having a monopoly on the ability to solve those problems” pg. 157
  • “Maintaining a position of irreplaceability involves monopolizing resources, controlling access to expertise, and… making sure one’s expert knowledge is not readily accessible to others” pg. 160
the importance of being in the right unit67
The Importance of Being in the Right Unit
  • Being in the right place matters but what if you don’t want to be a _____? Instead, your interests are more in the area that is traditionally defined as support staff.
  • How do you make yourself irreplaceable in an organization? Let’s get specific. What’s right/wrong with this approach?
individual attributes as sources of power
Individual Attributes as Sources of Power
  • Energy and Physical Stamina: “Endurance triumphs over cleverness… The ability and willingness to work grueling hours has characterized many powerful figures” pg. 166
  • Focus: “Effort is wasted by being spread too thin, and more important, details that may be significant in the effort to build power and influence are often overlooked” pg. 170
  • Sensitivity to Others: “It should be clear that being sensitive to others does not mean that one is necessarily going to act in their interests… Sensitivity simply means understanding who they are, their position on the issue, and how best to communicate with and influence them” pg. 172
individual attributes as sources of power69
Individual Attributes as Sources of Power
  • Flexibility: “Flexibility that comes from focusing on ultimate objectives and being able to remain emotionally detached from the situation” pg. 176
  • Ability to Tolerate Conflict : “Since many people dislike conflict, being willing to do battle, vigorously, with others over something we want provides a strong incentive for them to go along” pg. 177
  • Submerging One’s Ego: “Related to the characteristic of flexibility, since it entails the ability to trade present restraint for greater power and resources in the future” pg. 182
individual attributes as sources of power70
Individual Attributes as Sources of Power
  • Can these “attributes” be developed or are they inherent abilities of some individuals?
  • How comfortable are you with the set of attributes discussed by Pfeffer?
guest speaker
Guest Speaker
  • What specific issues do we want to talk about with our guest speaker?
  • How does this translate into specific questions for the guest speaker?
guest speaker debriefing
Guest Speaker Debriefing
  • Thoughts, comments, questions?
  • What was most informative?
  • What was missing?
  • Contrast: “We need to make sure our proposals benefit by contrast with what has come before, and at the same time that they are significant enough to get noticed” pg. 192
  • Commitment: “the most effective way to gain a person’s loyalty is not to do him or her a favor, but to let that person do one for you” pg. 198
  • Scarcity: “what you advocate should always appear to be scarce” pg. 203

“Because the framing of an issue can decide the outcome, it is important to be early in the process of setting the terms of the discussion” pg. 205

interpersonal influence
Interpersonal Influence
  • Social Proof: “Once social consensus begins to develop in one direction, it is difficult to change… affecting how decisions are viewed, very early in the process, is absolutely critical” pg. 212
  • Liking and Ingratiation: “managers who are warmer, more humorous, and less intimidating will, other things being equal, have an easier time exercising influence” pg. 220
  • Emotions: “Getting along in organizations often involves being able to transact business, in a pleasant and effective manner, with people whom you don’t like” pg. 224
framing and influence
Framing and Influence
  • How is Pfeffer’s discussion similar/different from Ciadini’s?
  • Pfeffer suggestions that most of what he discusses are skills that can be developed. Do you agree?
  • Hide/manipulate your emotions.Yes, no, maybe?
  • How effective was our guest speaker in using these techniques?
  • How effective are you in using these techniques?
  • Anything particularly “disagreeable” in Pfeffer’s/our discussion?
  • Being Early and Moving Fast: “Once a project is started, it is much more difficult to stop” pg. 228
  • Delays: “tend to undermine the confidence of the proponents, increasing the likelihood that the opponents with prevail” pg. 231
  • The Waiting Game: “a person can emphasize his or her importance by causing others to wait” pg. 236
  • Deadlines: “convey a sense of urgency and importance” pg. 237
  • Order of Consideration: “Presenting the weaker proposal first will tend to ensure that the stronger proposal is favorably received” pg. 240
  • Propitious Moments: “Issues and events have the quality of ripeness - there is a time to act, and a time to delay” pg. 244
  • How do we introduce delays to our benefit?
  • How do we avoid delays for projects/ideas we support?
  • The Waiting Game: when does it work for you/against you?
  • To capitalize on Propitious Moments, we must be able to identify when these moments exist. How is this done?
  • I’m considering going up for Tenure early. What advice do you have for me?
politics of info and analysis
Politics of Info and Analysis
  • “First, all organizations strive for the appearance of rationality… Second, it is unlikely that processes of straightforward analysis will clearly resolve the issue… This means that, there is the opportunity to use information and analysis selectively” pp. 248-249
  • “One strategic use of power and influence involves advocating the employment of standards that favor one’s own position… ignoring information that does not advance one’s own point of view” pg. 258-260
  • “Knowledge of analytic techniques is very helpful, if not critical, in the exercise of power and influence in organizations” pg. 260
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Politics of Info and Analysis
  • “But it is important to recognize that the connection between results is quite tenuous. What this means is that we should probably not hesitate to use information and analysis to exercise power in organizations, since the strategy is an effective one and the likelihood of our being called to account for our actions is not very great” pg. 265
changing the structure
Changing the Structure
  • “Power is created and used by having a separate, somewhat protected domain of activity established in the structure of the organization as a base for gathering information and resources” pg. 271
  • “Power is built by ensuring that you control as much territory as possible, and this control is obtained by placing your allies in key positions and by expanding the activities over which you have formal responsibility” pg. 273
  • “Awareness of the role of organizational design in the exercise of power can sensitize us to the hidden agendas that may underlie restructurings undertaken for seemingly straightforward reasons” pg. 278
symbolic action
Symbolic Action
  • Language: “political language is often effective because people are judged by their intent, by the symbolism of what they are doing, and not necessarily by the reality of what they are doing” pg. 288
  • Ceremonies: “Meetings are often held to reassure some group in the organization that it is important” pg. 291
  • Settings: “Having a large office, an imposing desk and desk chair, and an office arrangement that separates you from your visitors” pg. 298
symbolic action82
Symbolic Action
  • It is the job of people interested in wielding power and influence to cause others to feel good about doing what we want done. This involves the exercise of symbolic management” pg. 279
  • One reason that language, ceremonies, and settings are so important in the exercise of influence is because we are often scarcely conscious of their effects on us” pg. 298
  • Information/analysis and symbolic management = Form over substance
  • Is this a fair assessment of Pfeffer’s argument? If so, do you agree?
  • “Strategy and Tactics for Employing Power” (Framing, Interpersonal influence, Timing, Information and Analysis, Structure and Symbolic Action)
  • What is the punch line in Pfeffer’s discussion in this section? Do you agree?
case study
Case Study

I’m considering going up for Tenure early. What advice do you have for me?

As related to:

  • Framing
  • Interpersonal influence
  • Timing,
  • Information and Analysis
  • Structure
  • Symbolic Action
power dynamics
Power Dynamics

“Perhaps there is a greater sin than making mistakes or influencing others - the sin of doing nothing, of being passive in the face of great challenges and opportunities, and even great problems… Being personally effective requires at least two things: knowing how to get things done and being willing to do them” pg. 300

how power is lost
How Power is Lost
  • “To be in power is to be watched more closely, and this surveillance affords one the luxury of few mistakes.” pg. 302
  • “Power is lost because circumstances are often more changeable than we are.” pg. 304
  • Having developed particular skill at one way of doing things or thinking about problems, they (those in power) are not always skilled with alternative approaches.” pg. 306
  • “One should never assume that the formal position is sufficient to maintain power… Power has many sources, and position, as we have seen is only one” pg. 309
  • “Organizations entail interdependence. Regardless of your power or your position, your dependence on others remains.” pg. 315
how power is lost87
How Power is Lost
  • After reading this chapter, where you more or less interested in exercising influence in organizations?
  • Are there any general lessons for the exercise of influence from this discussion?
  • Exiting gracefully or fighting to the bitter end Is there a time to give up on the exercising of influence?
managing political dynamics
Managing Political Dynamics
  • “The question, then, is how to incorporate new perspectives and new ideas, which often involve shifting the power distribution in the organization, without so much trauma and turmoil that the organization is destroyed in the process” pg. 320
  • “To the extent that organizations can agree on goals and on measures of progress toward goal attainment, influence activities can be reduced” pg. 322
  • “In determining how much conflict can exist in a healthy organization, we would do well to remember that not all conflict is harmful” pg. 323
  • “To remove the role of power… has its own costs. Managing power in organizations requires the ability to compromise” pg. 328
managing political dynamics89
Managing Political Dynamics
  • Punch line of the discussion: The exercise of influence can be good for the organization if kept within certain bounds.
  • Do you agree? If so, what are the appropriate bounds?
  • Are you interested and prepared to be the change agent within an organization?
  • What special problems do change agents face?
managing with power
Managing with Power
  • “Developing and exercising power require having both will and skill. It is the will that often seems to be missing.” pg. 338
  • “What does it mean, to manage with power?” pg. 340
    • Recognizing that there are varying interests.
    • Trying to identify the interests of various parties.
    • Understanding the need for power to get things done. Understanding where power comes from.
    • Understanding strategies and tactics for developing power.
  • “Knowledge without power is of remarkably little use. And power without the skill to employ it effectively is likely to be wasted. Managing with power means more than knowing the ideas discussed in this book. It means being willing to do something with that knowledge.” pg. 342
managing with power91
Managing with Power
  • That’s all from Pfeffer! Any parting thoughts?
  • The good, the bad, the ugly. Where you generally convinced?
  • Do you agree with Pfeffer’s general argument that you must employ the tactics discussed in his book if you want to be effective in organizations?
  • Are you comfortable using the strategies and tactics discussed in this book?
  • Any “one” lesson/comment that stands out the most?
kipnis the use of power
Kipnis - The Use of Power
  • Those with more power were likely to use strong tactics to influence others… an “Iron Law of Power” such that the greater the discrepancy in power between influencer and target, the greater the probability that strong tactics will be used.” pg. 187
  • Given a choice, most people initially seek to exert influence through simple requests and reason. Strong tactics are used when the target of influence refuses or appears reluctant to comply with a request… In contrast, people without power are more likely to stop trying to influence when they encounter resistance.” pg. 188
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Kipnis - The Use of Power
  • “Expectations about a target person’s willingness to comply are distorted by situational and personal factors… I have found that supervisors used harsher tactics with black than white subordinates for similar incidents of misconduct… I believe that gender differences in the use of influence can be attributed to the previously discussed factors of power, objectives, and expectations” pg.189
  • “Our organizational research found no significant difference between male and female managers in their self-reported use of seven influence strategies. Men and women revealed practically identical influence profiles.” pg. 190
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Kipnis - The Use of Power
  • “Shotgun managers had above-average scores on all seven influence strategies… had the least managerial experience, tended to hold staff positions, and expressed the greatest number of both personal and organizational needs.”
  • Tactician managers relied heavily on the use of Reason to influence others… directed work units that did technologically complex work.”
  • Bystander managers were the “timid souls” of the management sample… directed organizational units that did mostly routine work.” pg. 191
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Kipnis - The Use of Power
  • What type of influence tactic is a person likely to use?
  • It depends!
    • On the Relative Power Position
    • On the Objectives of the Influence
    • On the Expectation of Compliance
  • When the difference in “power position” is high or when the “expectation of compliance” is low, strong tactics (do it or else) are more likely.
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Kipnis - The Use of Power
  • What problem (if any) do differences in power make when the exercise of influence is involved? Examples?
  • Where are differences in power most likely to exist? What does this say about the exercise of influence in such a situation?
  • What problem (if any) do differences in personal backgrounds make when the exercise of influence is involved? Examples?
  • Where are differences in personal characteristics most likely to exist? What does this say about the exercise of influence in such a situation?
“Power tends to corrupt,

and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

  • Lord Acton, in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, 1887
kipnis the view from the top
Kipnis - The View from the Top
  • “My research suggests that the use of strong tactics triggers the following events: First, their success strengthens the power-holder’s belief that he or she controls the other person… To the extent that the power-holders believe that they control another person’s behavior, that other person is likely to be devalued.” pp. 30-31
  • The exercise of strong control over people, then, whether through face-to-face encounters or indirectly through environmental alterations that limit free choice worsens relationships between power-holders and those they control.” pg. 36
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Kipnis - The View from the Top
  • OK, power corrupts. So what? Why do we care?
  • Kipnis suggests that power corruption comes from the use of strong tactics. Might it also result from the use of weaker tactics of influence?
  • When is power corruption mostly likely to happen?
  • What can be done, if anything, to temper the corruptive tendency associated with the use power?
  • What can be done in situation where strong tactics are the norm when it comes to influence (e.g., the military)?
leadership an alienating myth
Leadership-An Alienating Myth?
  • “There exists a strong tendency to explain organizational outcomes by attributing causality to “leadership. This attributional social bias creates the illusion that leaders are in control of events” pg. 263
  • “Members become preoccupied with the thought that sometime in the future a person (leader) or idea (leadership) will surface that will eventually solve all their problems without any effort on their part” pg. 265
  • “In projecting their own senses of completeness and incompleteness onto leaders, people become alienated and caught in an illusion of helplessness and failure without realizing that they limit the leader’s power as well as their own by their denial, projection, and passivity” pg. 266
the leadership myth
The Leadership Myth
  • Leadership as an alienating myth. What do you think of this argument in general?
  • What does this tell us about the exercise of influence?
  • How could this information be used to be more effective in the exercise of influence?
  • Can we minimize the “alienation” while still being aggressive in our exercise of influence? What might Kipnis say?
  • Is this something we should worry about? What are the negative impacts of the alienation?
the social basis of behavior
The Social Basis of Behavior
  • “At the start of the study, then, there were no measurable differences between the young men assigned to be guards and those who were to role-play being prisoners.” pg. 559
  • “Although there were no initial differences between those assigned to play the roles of prisoner and guard, enacting those roles in a social situation that validated the power differences created extreme behavioral and emotional differences between the two groups… Every guard at some time engaged in abusive authoritarian behaviors” pg. 560
  • “Presumably, they, like the rest of us, had learned stereotyped conceptions of guard and prisoner roles from the mass media as well as from social models of power and powerlessness (parent-child, teacher-student, boss-worker, police-suspect, etc)” pg. 561
social basis of behavior
Social Basis of Behavior
  • What types of influence are involved in the exercise discussed in this reading?
  • What is the response to the influence attempts in general?
  • What does this tell us about the exercise of influence in general?
ethical implications
Ethical Implications

The purpose of this write-up is to have you reflect on what you believe to be the appropriate uses of power and influence. The attempt here is not to prescribe a particular ethic concerning the use of power and influence. Instead, you are asked to develop their own opinions concerning the appropriate use of power and influence.

(2 page max)

final session
Final Session

Things to thing about for the next class:

  • Three most important lessons learned
  • What I plan to do differently as a result