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Organizational Behaviour Chapter 7 - Power and Politics

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					   Chapter 7
Power and Politics




      Organizational Behaviour
   Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                          Power
• A capacity to influence the behaviour of others
• It is a potential that need not be actually used
• It is also a function of dependency. If a person is
  dependent on another, then the other has power over the
  first
• Leaders use their power as a means to achieve a goal




                       Organizational Behaviour
                    Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
              5 Sources of Power
• Coercive Power – probably the most primitive source of
  power, but most often used, and most difficult to control.
   – It is a power that is dependent on fear
• Reward Power – the opposite of Coercive Power
   – People comply with the wishes of another because it produces
     positive benefits
   – Reward can be offered in the form of financial, but also friendship,
     praise and acceptance (Maslow’s third level need)
• Legitimate Power – the power a person possesses as a
  result of their position in the organization




                          Organizational Behaviour
                       Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
             5 Sources of Power
• Expert Power – power possessed because of a specific
  knowledge, skill, expertise or experience an individual has
   – As the world has become more technical, this power source has
     grown
• Referent power – Power resulting to a person because of
  desirable characteristics or resources
   – It develops out of admiration for the power holder
   – Celebrities endoursing a product in commercials are a prime
     example of leveraging this source of power




                         Organizational Behaviour
                      Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
   About the 5 Sources of Power
• Of course, power is only given to the extent that the level
  of dependence is present
   – Individuals seek to minimize dependence by expanding their
     options (businesses source multiple suppliers and customers,
     individuals seek education to widen their attractiveness to
     prospective employers)
• The least effective sources of power are Coercive,
  Legitimate and Reward
• Effective leaders leverage referent power and expert
  power.
   – These are more personal forms of power achieved through
     interrelations with others

• Q: Which of these sources do you possess?

                         Organizational Behaviour
                      Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
 7 Ways to Increase Your Power
• Be reasonable – use facts and data to build a position then
  reason from it
• Be friendly – Create goodwill and good relations
• Build coalitions – Get the support of others who possess a
  similar view point
• Bargain – Negotiate for the exchange of benefits (to
  minimize dependency)
• Be assertive – A little more directly forceful
• Seek higher authority support – provides leverage
• Leverage sanctions – use organizationally derived rewards
  or punishments and the threat of them to cause action

                       Organizational Behaviour
                    Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                       Empowerment
• Empowerment is the ability and freedom of employees to make
  decisions and commitments
    – To some degree, boundaries are set around where employees can make
      decisions, and empowerment seeks to expand them
• Empowered employees exhibit 4 characteristics
    –   Self-determination – free to choose their work
    –   Sense of meaning – feel their work is important
    –   Sense of competence – confident in their ability to do the work
    –   Sense of impact – believe they can influence their work unit, team or
        organization
• Empowerment benefits management because
    – it reduces management work load
    – Places decision making power in the hands of those often better equipped
      to make decisions
    – Provides significant motivation and learning opportunities for employees

                              Organizational Behaviour
                           Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                  Empowerment
• Empowerment increases as employees or teams are given
  more power over their job context (reason for the job) and
  job content (tasks)
• Empowered employees are expected to act as owners of
  the business
• Levels of Empowerment
   – No discretion (usually for routine, low skilled jobs)
   – Task setting – employee can determine how the job gets done
   – Participatory – some decision making power over job
     context/content
   – Mission defining – groups set broad goals for a project
   – Self-management – Total decision making power


                         Organizational Behaviour
                      Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                     Coalitions
• A coalition is an informal group bound together by the
  active pursuit of a single issue
• Successful coalitions contain fluid membership and act
  swiftly to achieve their goals
• Coalitions will seek to maximize their size and are more
  likely to be created when there is a resource shortage or
  dependence
• Coalitions tend to be created when tasks are routine as well




                       Organizational Behaviour
                    Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                  Abuse of Power
• Harassment – the abuse of a power position
• Great examples of abuse of power are in the recent Nortel,
  Enron and WorldCom cases.
   – Executives abused their ability to affect perceived organizational
     performance through the use of financial reporting tools
• Sexual harassment is defined as “unwelcome behaviour of
  a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the
  work environment or leads to adverse job related
  consequences for employees




                          Organizational Behaviour
                       Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                         Politics
• Politics is present when employees convert their power
  into action
• Political behaviour is that activity that attempt to influence
  the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within an
  organization
• It becomes most notable when it is outside the actor’s
  direct job responsibility

• Q: How political is your place of work? Why?




                        Organizational Behaviour
                     Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
           Why do politics exist?
• Organizations are made up of people with differing values,
  goals and interests
• Resources are limited which causes action to resolve the
  shortage resulting in conflict
• Facts used to allocate resources are open to interpretation.
   – Tainting the facts, or concentrating on those facts that support an
     individual’s needs is possible in a world where there is always
     ambiguity
   – An example of limited resources are promotions (assuming there is
     limited opportunities for promotion)
• The less trust there is in an organization, the more politics
• Unclear performance evaluations promote politics

                          Organizational Behaviour
                       Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
                Rules for Politics
• Fast Company Magazine’s Rules for Politics:
   – Nobody wins unless everybody wins (we’ll discuss why next
     chapter)
   – Don’t just ask for opinions, change them
   – Everybody expects to be paid back
   – Success can create opposition (what goes around comes around)



• Chapter 8




                         Organizational Behaviour
                      Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
   Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
   Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP