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Organizational behavior 7e by luthans chap009

Chapter Nine

Power and
Politics

McGraw-Hill/Irwin

© 2008 The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.


Learning Objectives
• Define power and its relationship to authority
and influence.
• Identify the various classifications of power.
• Discuss the contingency approach to power.
• Describe the empowerment of employees.
• Relate the political implications of power .
• Present some political strategies for power
acquisition in modern organizations.



Introduction
• Power and politics – important dynamics
in organizational behavior
– Power related to authority and influence
– Political strategies used to acquire power


Meaning of Power
• Ability to get an individual or group to do
something
• Distinctions among power, authority, and
influence
– Power – as observed influence or potential to
influence
– Authority – legitimates and is a source of
power
– Influence – ability to alter others in general
ways


Meaning of Power
Continued

• Classifications of power
– Reward power
– Coercive power
– Legitimate power
– Referent power
– Expert power


Meaning of Power
Continued

• Contingency approaches to power
– Influenceability of the targets of power








Dependency
Uncertainty
Personality
Intelligence
Gender
Age
Culture


Meaning of Power
Continued

• Contingency approaches to power (continued)
– An overall contingency model for power


Meaning of Power
Continued

• Two faces of power
– Positive power
– Negative power


Special Case of Empowerment
• Complexity of empowerment
– Innovation implications
– Access to Information
– Accountability and responsibility

• Putting empowerment into action
– Two common approaches are:
• Kaizen and “just do it” principles (JDIT)
• Trust building


Political Implications of Power
• Political perspective of power in
organizations
– Areas relevant to politics






Resources
Decisions
Goals
Technology and external environment
Change


Political Implications of Power
Continued

• Specific political strategies for power acquisition


Political Implications of Power
Continued

• Political tactics


Political Implications of Power
Continued

• Strategies for power acquisition (continued)
– Maintain alliances with powerful people
– Embrace or demolish
– Divide and rule
– Manipulate classified information
– Make a quick showing
– Collect and use IOUs
– Avoid decisive engagement (Fabianism)


Political Implications of Power
Continued

• Strategies for power acquisition (continued)
– Attacking and blaming others
– Progress one step at a time
– Wait for a crisis
– Take council with caution
– Be aware of resource dependence


Political Implications of Power
Continued

• Final word on power and politics
– Guidelines to overcome negative impact:
• Keep lines of communication open
• Role-model ethical and nonpolitical behaviors
• Be wary of game players acting only in their own
self-interests
• Protect individual privacy interests
• Always use the value judgment “Is this fair?”


Questions



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