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Chapter 15 Power and Political Behavior

Chapter 15 Power and Political Behavior

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Chapter 15 Power and Political Behavior

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  1. Chapter 15Power and Political Behavior

  2. Learning Goals • Describe the nature of power in organizations and ways to build power • Discuss the relationship between power and politics in organizations • Describe the bases of power and ways of building power in organizations • Understand political strategies and political tactics

  3. Learning Goals (Cont.) • Do a political diagnosis • Describe international differences in political behavior in organizations • Discuss the ethical issues surrounding organizational politics

  4. Chapter Overview • Introduction • Power • Political behavior • International aspects of political behavior in organizations • Ethical issues about political behavior in organizations

  5. Introduction How do you perceive power? Power Dark and gloomy? Bright and cheery?

  6. Introduction (Cont.) How do you perceive political behavior? PoliticalBehavior

  7. Introduction (Cont.) • Political behavior pervades organizational life • Focuses on developing and using power in an organization • Often gives power to people who do not have it from their organizational position

  8. Power • Power: ability to get something done the way a person wants it done • Includes the ability to gather physical and human resources and put them to work to reach a goal • Essential to leadership and management functions

  9. Power (Cont.) • More than dominance: a capacity to get something done in an organization • Central feature of political behavior • Unavoidable presence in organizations

  10. Power (Cont.) • Facets of power • Potential power: one party perceives another party as having power and the ability to use it • Actual power: the presence and use of power • Potential for power: person or group has control of resources from which to build power

  11. Power (Cont.) • Power relationships: moments of social interaction where power manifests itself • Dimensions of power relationships • Relational: social interaction between people and groups • Dependence • Reliance of one party on another party • High power when valued results not available elsewhere • Sanctioning: use of rewards or penalties

  12. Power (Cont.) • Power and authority • Different concepts although a person can have both • Authority usually flows from a person’s position in an organization • Power can accrue to people at any level

  13. Power (Cont.) Power flows Reporting relationships Lateral relationships Cross-functional relationships

  14. Power (Cont.) • Power dynamics • Dynamic not static; rises and falls for people and groups • Shifts in environment can change power of person or group • Marketing: successful product--power goes up; lose market share--power goes down • Technology: as it increases in importance, people who know it become more powerful. The opposite happens as importance of technology drops

  15. Bases of Power • Bases of power: aspects of formal manage-ment position and personal characteristics • Organizational bases of power: sources of power in formal management position • Personal bases of power: sources of power in a manager’s personal characteristics • Accumulate to a total power base See text book Figure 15.1

  16. Bases of Power (Cont.) • Organizational bases of power • Legitimate power • Derives from position • Decision authority • Reward power • Tie positive results to a person’s behavior • Organization’s reward system and policies

  17. Bases of Power (Cont.) • Organizational bases of power (cont.) • Coercive power • Tie negative results to a person’s behavior • Organization’s reward system and policies • Information power • Information control • Information distribution

  18. Bases of Power (Cont.) • Organizational bases of power (cont.) • All management positions have some organizational basis of power • Minimally have legitimate power • Reward and coercive power depend on organi-zational policies about rewards and sanctions • Assume the power in the position but it stays after person leaves the position

  19. Bases of Power (Cont.) • Personal bases of power • Referent power: positive feelings about the leader. Related to charisma • Expert power: technical knowledge and expertise • Flow from the attributes and qualities of the person • Strongly affected by attribution processes

  20. Power, Leadership,and Management • Essential to leadership and management • Much more than dominance • Capacity to get things done

  21. Power, Leadership,and Management (Cont.) • Behavior of powerful leaders and managers • Delegate decision authority • See people’s talents as a resource • Can change people’s working conditions • Get resources and information for work group • Take risks

  22. Power, Leadership,and Management (Cont.) • Behavior of powerful leaders and managers (cont.) • Press for innovations • Share power widely • Help develop people Results Highly effective Increases total power of the work group Increases people’s promotion opportunities

  23. Power, Leadership,and Management (Cont.) • Behavior of powerless leaders and managers • Supervise closely • Do not delegate decision authority • Often distrust subordinates • See people’s talents as a threat • Stick to the rules

  24. Power, Leadership,and Management (Cont.) • Behavior of powerless leaders and managers (cont.) • Do not take risks • Strongly focus on the work • Protect his or her territory Results Ineffective Low total power of work group Decreases people’s promotion opportunities

  25. Power, Leadership,and Management (Cont.) Which do you prefer: powerful or powerless leader or manager?

  26. Building Power • Six major sources of power • Sources are related to bases of power described earlier • Political diagnosis, described later, is an important step in building power

  27. Building Power (Cont.) • Knowledge, skill, reputation, professional credibility (expert and information power) • Political network • Formal or informal • Often based on position in a communication channel • Important in lateral relationships • Create perception of dependence: control of scarce resources

  28. Building Power (Cont.) • Work activities (legitimate power) • Extraordinary • Visible • Successful at high-risk activities • Charisma (referent power). Especially important in lateral relationships

  29. Building Power (Cont.) • Power base of the work unit • Coping with uncertainty • Unique function • Changes in external environment • Centrality in work flow Human resource management departments that becomeexpert in affirmative action, equal employment opportunity,and workforce diversity can increase their power.

  30. Attribution of Power • Ascribing power to people at any level • May not be same as actual power • Attribution based on • Personal characteristics • Context of the person

  31. Attribution of Power (Cont.) • Personal characteristics • Formal position: status and authority • Technical knowledge • Central position in a communication network • Context of the person • Physical context • Group or project membership • Member of a coalition

  32. Political Behavior • Getting, developing, and using power to reach a desired result • Often appears in situations of uncertainty or conflict over choices • Often happens outside accepted channels of authority

  33. Political Behavior (Cont.) • Unofficial, unsanctioned behavior to reach a goal • Build bases of power • Use political behavior • Affect decisions • Get scarce resources • Earn cooperation of people outside direct authority

  34. Political Behavior (Cont.) • Ebbs and flows with the dynamics of power • Two characteristics: power and influence • Directed at reaching organizational goals or individual goals • Plays an important role in lateral relationships • Rarely have formal authority in such relationships

  35. Political Behavior (Cont.) Characteristics of political processes Political process Power Influence

  36. Political Behavior (Cont.) • Political behavior and lateral relationships • Line-staff • Many entry positions • Marketing • Human resource management • Information systems • Competition for resources: money, people, equipment, office space • Interdependence in work flow. Especially modern manufacturing

  37. Political Maneuveringin Organizations • Political maneuvering • Political strategy • Plan to reach a goal using specific political tactics • Goal: organizational or personal • Political tactics • Builds power base • Uses power

  38. Political Maneuveringin Organizations (Cont.) • Political strategy • Specifies combinations and sequences of political tactics • Includes plan for responding to changes in the political context • People at all levels can develop and use a political strategy • Not written; usually tacit

  39. Political Maneuveringin Organizations (Cont.) • Political strategy (cont.) • Used in • Resource allocation • Choice of senior managers • Career decisions • Performance appraisals • Pay increase decisions

  40. Political Maneuveringin Organizations (Cont.) • Political tactics • Decision making processes • Selectively emphasize decision alternatives • Influence decision process in favor of self or work unit • Use outside expert or consultant. Power is equal but wants to shift another level • Control the decision making agenda: often done when person does not want change

  41. Political Maneuveringin Organizations (Cont.) • Political tactics (cont.) • Build coalitions • Form around people inside and outside the organization • Those believed important to person’s position • Co-optation: get support by putting possible opponents on a task force or advisory board

  42. Political Diagnosis • Help understand the loci of power • Identify type of political behavior likely to happen in an organization • Usually done unobtrusively by observing behavior and making subtle inquiries

  43. Political Diagnosis (Cont.) • Areas of diagnosis • Individuals • Identify powerful people and politically active people • Assess amounts of power • Assess ways they likely will use their power • Assess their political skills

  44. Political Diagnosis (Cont.) • Areas of diagnosis (cont.) • Coalitions • Alliance of people who share a common goal • Widely dispersed in organization • Try to affect decisions

  45. Political Diagnosis (Cont.) • Areas of diagnosis (cont.) • Political networks • Affiliations, alliances, coalitions • Control information flow and resources • Identify major influences in the network

  46. The Dark Side ofOrganizational Politics Lying Deception Organizational politics Intimidation

  47. The Dark Side ofOrganizational Politics (Cont.) • Deception • See the Machiavelli quotation on page 293 • Trick another party into picking wrong decision alternative • Personal goals more important than organizational goals Manager does not want change andasks for an endless series of studies

  48. The Dark Side ofOrganizational Politics (Cont.) • Lying • Intentional misstatement of the truth • Trying to mislead other party • Distorts information in favor of the liar • Can have long-term negative effects if discovered “There will be no layoffs.”

  49. The Dark Side ofOrganizational Politics (Cont.) • Intimidation • Direct or indirect pressures on a person by someone with power over the person • Restrict communication of person with others • Isolate from others • Includes sexual harassment of anyone Imply withholding a promotion unless . . .

  50. International Aspects of Political Behavior in Organizations • People from different cultures hold different beliefs about power and power relationships • Some cultures see a directive and autocratic use of power as correct • Other cultures define a consultative or democratic approach as correct • Different individuals within those cultures have different beliefs about power relationships