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Ch. 13 Power and Politics

by: Alora Lornklang

Ch. 13 Power and Politics MGMT 3720

Marketplace > University of North Texas > Business > MGMT 3720 > Ch 13 Power and Politics
Alora Lornklang
GPA 3.5

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About this Document

These notes cover the vocabulary and learning objectives from Ch 13 of the textbook and the lecture.
Organizational Behavior
Dr. James D. Powell
Class Notes
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Alora Lornklang on Thursday March 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to MGMT 3720 at University of North Texas taught by Dr. James D. Powell in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 20 views. For similar materials see Organizational Behavior in Business at University of North Texas.


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Date Created: 03/24/16
 MGMT 3720 Organizational Behavior Chapter Review Ch. 13: Power and Politics 1. Define power and contrast leadership and power.   Power  o A capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B so that B acts in  accordance with A’s wishes.  o Power may exist but not be used o Probably the most important aspect of power is that it is a function of  dependence.   Dependence o B’s relationship to A when A possesses something that B requires.  o A person can have power over you only if he or she controls something  you desire.   Contrasting Leadership and Power o Leaders use power as a means of attaining group goals.  o Goal compatibility   Power does not require goal compatibility, merely dependence o The direction of influence  Leadership focuses on the downward influence on one’s followers. o Leadership research emphasizes style.  2. Contrast the five bases of power.   Formal Power: Formal power is based on an individual’s position in an  organization. It can come from the ability to coerce or reward, or from formal  authority.  o Coercive Power  A power base that is dependent on fear of the negative results from failing to comply.  o Reward Power  Compliance achieved based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable.  o Legitimate Power   The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization.   Personal Power: Personal power comes from an individual’s unique  characteristics. There are two bases of personal power: expertise and respect and  admiration of others.  o Expert power  Influence based on special skills or knowledge.  o Referent Power  Influence based on identification with a person who has desirable  resources or personal traits.   Formal power is based on an individual’s position in an organization. It can come  from the ability to coerce or reward, or from formal authority.   Which Bases of Power Are Most Effective? o Personal sources are most effective o Both expert and referent power are positively related to employees’  satisfaction with supervision, their organizational commitment, and their  performance, whereas reward and legitimate power seem to be unrelated  to these outcomes.  o Coercive power usually backfires.  3. Explain the role of dependence in power relationships.   The General Dependency Postulate o When you possess anything that others require but that you alone control,  you make them dependent upon you and, therefore, you gain power over  them.  o Dependence, then, is inversely proportional to the alternative sources of  supply.   What Creates Dependence? o Importance  If nobody wants what you have, it’s not going to create  dependence o Scarcity   Dependence relationship in the power of occupational categories o Nonsubstitutability   The fewer viable substitutes for a resource, the more power control that resource provides  4. Identify nine power or influence tactics and their contingencies   Power tactics:  o Ways in which individuals translate power bases into specific actions    Legitimacy o Relying on your authority position or saying a request accords with  organizational policies or rules.     Rational persuasion  o Presenting logical arguments and factual evidence to demonstrate a  request is reasonable    Inspirational appeals o Developing emotional commitment by appealing to a target’s values,  needs, hopes, and aspirations.      Consultation  o Increasing the target’s support by involving him or her in deciding how  you will accomplish your plan.      Exchange  o Rewarding the target with benefits or favors in exchange for following a  request.      Personal appeals o Asking for compliance based on friendship or loyalty.      Ingratiating  o Using flattery, praise, or friendly behavior prior to making a request.      Pressure  o Using warnings, repeated demands, and threats     Coalitions o Enlisting the aid or support of others to persuade the target to agree  Some tactics are more effective than others.  o Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation are most  effective when the audience is highly interested in the outcomes.  o Pressure tends to backfire.  o Both ingratiation and legitimacy can lessen the negative reactions from  appearing to “dictate” outcomes.   People differ in terms of their political skill o The ability to influence others in such a way as to enhance one’s  objectives.  o The politically skilled are more effective users of all influence tactics.   Cultures within organizations differ markedly: some are warm, relaxed, and  supportive; others are formal and conservative.  o People who fit the culture of the organization tend to obtain more  influence.   Does power corrupt? o Power leads people to place their own interests ahead of others.   Powerful people react, especially negatively, to any threats to their  competence.  o Power leads to overconfident decision making.  o Those most likely to abuse power are those who are low in status and gain  power.  o Power doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, and there are even  positive effects of power.  5. Show the connection between sexual harassment and the abuse of power.   Sexual Harassment:  o Any unwanted activity of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s  employment and creates a hostile work environment  Surveys indicate between 25 and 40 percent of individuals report being sexually  harassed.   The concept of power is central to understanding sexual harassment.  o Sexual harassment is more likely to occur when there are large power  differentials.   Sexual harassment by the boss typically creates the greats difficulty for those  being harassed  Managers have a responsibility to protect their employees from a hostile work  environment, but they also need to protect themselves.  o Managers may be unaware of sexual harassment, but being unaware does  not protect them or their organization.  o If investigators believe a manger could have known about the harassment,  both the manager and the company can be held liable. 6. Identify the causes of consequences of political behavior.  Political Behavior—activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in  the organization, but that influence the distribution of advantages within the  organization.  o Outside of one’s specified job requirements  o Encompasses efforts to influence decision­making goals, criteria, or  processes.  o Includes such behaviors as withholding information, whistle blowing,  spreading rumors, and leaking confidential information.   Factors contributing to Political Behavior  o Individual factors  o Organizational factors 7. Apply impression management techniques.   Impression management (IM)—the process by which individuals attempt to  control the impression others form of them.  o Mostly high self­monitors.  o Impressions people convey are not necessarily false—they might truly  believe them.  o Intentional misrepresentation may have a high cost.   Studies show the effectiveness of IM depends on the situation, such as job  interviews and performance evaluations.   Almost all our conclusions on employee reactions to organizational politics are  based on studies conducted in North America  o The few studies that have included other countries suggest some minor  modifications.   Chinese cultures  East Asian   Politically unstable or turbulent countries.  8. Determine whether a political action is ethical.   The Ethics of Behaving Politically  Questions to consider:  o What is the utility of engaging in politicking? o How does the utility of engaging in the political behavior balance out any  harm (or potential harm) it will do to others? o Does the political activity conform to standards of equity and justice?


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