Chapter 13: Power and Politics
Chapter 13: Power and Politics MGMT 306
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kayla Kanteena on Friday November 13, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to MGMT 306 at University of New Mexico taught by Jacqueline Hood in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 53 views. For similar materials see Organizational Behavior and Diversity in Business, management at University of New Mexico.
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Date Created: 11/13/15
Chapter 13 Power and Politics A Definition of Power refers to the capacity that A has to in uence the behavior of B so B acts in accordance with A s wishes It is a capacity or potential an important aspect of power The greater B s dependence on A the greater A s power is in the relationship It is based on alternatives that B perceives and the importance B places on the alternatives A controls Money is often a dependence factor in power and politics but it is not the only means Contrasting Leadership and Power Leaders use power as a means of attaining group goals Power does not require goal compatibility merely dependence Leadership however requires some congruence between goals of the leader and those being led Leadership research focuses on the downward in uence on followers Power research takes all factors into consideration Leadership research often emphasize style How supportive should leader be Research on power focuses on tactics for gaining compliance Leadership concentrates on the individual leader s in uence while the study of power acknowledges that groups as well as individuals can use power to control over control other individuals or groups Bases of 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 0 depends on fear of the negative results from failing to comply At the organizational level A has coercive power over B if A can dismiss suspend or demote B assuming B values his job If A can assign B work activities B find unpleasant or treat B in a manner B finds embarrassing then A possesses coercive power over B Coercive power can also come from withholding key information 0 people comply because it produces positive benefits from someone who can distribute rewards they view as valuable It can be financial controlling pay rates raises and bonuses or nonfinancial recognition promotions interesting work assignments friendly colleagues preferred work shifts and sales territories 0 the formal authority to control and use organizational resources based on structural position in the organization Personal power comes from an individual s unique characteristics There are two bases expertise and the respect and admiration of others 0 in uenced wielded as a result of expertise special skills or knowledge 0 based on identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits If I like respect and admire you you can exercise power over me because I want to please you Which bases of power are most effective 0 Of the three bases of formal power coercive reward legitimate and two bases of personal power expert referent research suggests that the personal sources of power are most effective Power Tactics options that people have for in uencing others like their bosses coworkers and employees Here are nine in uence tactics 0 Legitimacy your authority position 0 Rational persuasion using logical arguments and factual evidence 0 Inspirational appeals developing emotional commitment by appealing to target s values needs hopes and aspirations 0 Consultation supporting your target by involving them in your accomplishing of a plan 0 Exchange rewarding the target in exchange for following a request 0 Personal appeals friendship or loyalty o Ingratiation using attery praise or friendly behavior prior to making a request 0 Pressure using warnings or threats 0 Coalitions having others persuade the target to agree Rational persuasion inspirational appeals and consultation tend to be the most effective Pressure tactics tend to backfire and are typically least effective of the nine tactics Rational persuasion is the only tactic effective across organizational levels Inspirational appeals work best as a downwardin uencing tactic with subordinates Personal appeals and coalitions are most effective as lateral in uence The effectiveness of tactics depends on the audience People who comply with soft tactics are more re ective and intrinsically motivated they have high selfesteem People who comply with hard tactics are more actionoriented and extrinsically motivated and are more focused on getting along with others than on getting their way ability to in uence others to enhance their own objectives They are more effective at using all the in uence tactics Political skill is more effective when the stakes are high How Power Affects People Certainly there is evidence that there are corrupting aspects of power Research suggests that power not only leads people to focus on their selfinterests because they can but it also liberates people to focus inward and thus come to place greater weight on their goals and interests Powerful people react negatively to any threats to their competence People given power are more likely to make selfinterested decisions when faced with a moral hazard Power also leads to overconfident decision making Positive effects research suggests that if we have an anxious personality power does not corrupt us because we are less likely to think that using power benefits us Second the coercive effect of power can be contained by organizational systems Third when we express gratitude toward powerful people we make them less likely to aggress against us Power energizes and leads to approach motivation It can also enhance people s motivation to help others It is not so much that power corrupts as it reveals A study revealed that power led to self interested behavior only for those with a weak moral identity For those with a strong moral identity power actually enhanced their moral weakness Politics Power in Action consists of activities that are not required as part of an individual s formal role but that in uence or attempt to in uence the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization It includes efforts to in uence the goals criteria or processes used for decision making Managers report some use of political behavior is both ethical and necessary as long as it doesn t directly harm anyone else Organizations are made up of individuals and groups with different values goals and interests This sets up the potential for con ict over the allocation of limited resources such as departmental budgets space project responsibilities and salary adjustments Gains by one individual or group are often perceived as coming at the expense of others within the organizations These forces create real competition among members for the organization s limited resources Most decisions have to be made in a climate of ambiguity where facts are rarely fully objective and thus are open to interpretation people within organizations will use whatever in uence they can to taint the facts to support their goals and interests This creates activities called politicking It is possible for an organization to be politicfree if all members of that organization hold the same goals and interests if organizational resources are not scarce and if performance outcomes are completely clear and objective Causes and Consequences of Political Behavior Research and observation have identified a number of factors that appear to encourage political behavior Some are individual characteristics derived from the unique qualities of the people the organization employs and others are a result of the organization s culture or internal environment Individual factors certain personality traits needs and other factors likely to be related to political behavior Employees who are high selfmonitors possess an internal locus of control and have a high need for power are more likely to engage in political behavior They believe they can control their environment individuals with an internal locus of control are more prone to take a proactive stance and attempt to manipulate situations in their favor Organizational factors when an organization s resources are declining when the existing pattern of resources is changing and when there is opportunity for promotions politicking is more likely to surface Cultures characterized by low trust role ambiguity unclear performance evaluation systems zerosum winlose reward allocation practices democratic decision making high pressure for performance and selfserving senior managers will create breeding grounds for politicking o treats the reward pie as xed so any gain one person or group achieves has to come at the expense of another person or group Politicking by top management in a sense gives those lower in the organization permission to play politics by implying that such behavior is acceptable For people who have modest political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game the outcomes tend to be predominantly negative Strong evidence indicates decrease in job satisfaction an increase in job anxiety and stress increased turnover and reduced performance When both politics and understanding are high performance is likely to increase because the individual will see political actions as an opportunity When understanding is low individuals are more likely to see politics as a threat which can have a negative effect on job performance when employees see politics as a threat they show reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action blame or change Impression management Being perceived positively by others should have benefits for people in organizations It could help them get the jobs they want in an organization and once hired to get favorable evaluations superior salary increases and more rapid promotions The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them is called Low selfmonitors tend to present images of themselves that are consistent with their personalities High selfmonitors are good at reading situations and molding their appearances and behavior to fit each situation The Ethics of Behaving Politically Those who are powerful articulate and persuasive are most vulnerable to ethical lapses because they are likely to be able to get away with unethical practices successfully When faced with an ethical dilemma regarding organizational politics try to consider whether playing politics is worth the risk and whether others might be harmed in the process These notes are from Essentials of Organizational Behavior by Robbins Judge
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