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Dynamics of OB:

Power and Politics

Sanjeeva Perera
B.Sc. (Eng.) Hons , MBA (Col.)

(OB) (577)
MSc/PGD in Information Systems & Information Management
Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology
Environmental Context
 Information Tech & Globalization
 Diversity & Ethics

Organizational Context
 Design & Culture
 Reward System
Managing & Leading
Dynamics for High Performance

 Communication  Job Design & Goals

ORGANIZATIONAL  Decision Making  Behavioral


Social BEHAVIOR Management
Cognitive  Stress & Conflict
Theory
 Leadership
 Power & Politics Processes

 Groups & Teams  Great Leaders

Cognitive Processes
 Perception & Attribution
 Personality & Attitudes
 Motivational needs & Processes
 Positive Psychological Capacities

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Dynamics of OB:

Power and Politics


Power and Politics

 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
 Present some political strategies for power acquisition in
modern organizations

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What is Power ? Two definitions

Def 1 : Max Weber (pioneering sociologist)


The probability that one actor within a social relationship will be in a
position to carry out his own will despite resistance.

Def 2 : Pfeffer (OB theorist)


The potential ability to influence behaviour, to change the course of
events , to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things that they would
not otherwise so.

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Power and politics often
have negative connotations
because people associate
them with attempts to use
organizational resources for
personal advantage and to
achieve personal goals at the
expense of other goals.

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 Power, formal authority, and obedience.
 The Milgram experiments.
▪ Designed to determine the extent to which people obey
the commands of an authority figure, even under the
belief of life-threatening conditions.
▪ The results indicated that the majority of the
experimental subjects would obey the commands of the
authority figure.
▪ Raised concerns about compliance and obedience.
Part 1 : Milgram's Obedience to Authority Experiment - Video
Part 2 : Milgram's Obedience to Authority Experiment - Video
Part 3 : Milgram's Obedience to Authority Experiment - Video
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Zone of Indifference - the range in which attempts
to influence a person will be perceived as legitimate
& will be acted on without a great deal of thought

Zone of Indifference
Managers strive to expand the zone of indifference

Zone of Indifference
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Power - the ability to influence another person

Influence - the process of affecting the thoughts,


behavior, & feelings of another person

Authority - the right to influence another person

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Reward Power - agent’s ability to control the rewards
that the target wants
Coercive Power - agent’s ability to cause an
unpleasant experience for a target
Legitimate Power - agent and target agree that
agent has influential rights, based on position and
mutual agreement
Referent Power - based on interpersonal attraction-
timing matters
Expert Power - agent has knowledge target needs

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Sources Consequences
of Power of Power
Expert
Power
Commitment
Referent
Power
Legitimate
Power Compliance
Reward
Power
Coercive Resistance
Power

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(Continued)

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Expert Power!

 Strong relationship to performance & satisfaction


 Transfers vital skills, abilities, and knowledge within the
organization
 Employees internalize what they observe & learn from
managers they consider “experts”

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Information Power - access
to and control over
important information
 Formal/informal position in
communication network
 Interpreting information
when passing it on

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Does the behavior produce a good
outcome for people both inside
and outside the organization?
Does the behavior respect the
rights of all parties?
Does the behavior treat all parties
equitably and fairly?

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Personal Power

Social Power
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Personal Power
 used for personal gain

Social Power
 used to create motivation

 used to accomplish group goals

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 Have high need for social power
 Approach relationships with a communal
orientation
 Focus on needs and interests of others

belief in the preference for


authority system work & discipline

belief in justice unselfishness

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 Authority to make decisions without having
to first get approval.

 Giving Power and Authority Away

 Carries Risk and Reward

 How does it enhance innovation and why


does it work?
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Organizational Politics - the use of power
and influence in organizations

Political Behavior - actions not officially


sanctioned (authorized) by an
organization that are taken to influence
others in order to meet one’s personal
goals
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 How to win Friends and Influence People
 Dale Carnegie 1998
 “Always make the other person feel
important…and do it sincerely. Please, thank
you and Would you mind?...”

How to Win Friends and Influence People 9 points - Video


How to Win Friends and Influence People - Video

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Resources Decisions

Areas

Change Goals

Technology and
external
environment
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(Continued)

 A Final Word on Power and Politics-


To help overcome the negative impact the
organizational politics can have on the ethics of an
organization, use following guide lines
 Keeps lines of communication open
 Role-model ethical and nonpolitical behaviors
 Be ware of game players acting only in their own
self-interests.
 Protect individual privacy interests.
 Always use the value judgment “Is this fair”
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(Continued)
 A Final Word on Power and Politics-
authenticity (genuineness)

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 Recognize that power and politics influence all
behavior in organizations and that it is necessary to
develop the skills to be able to understand and manage
them.

 Analyze the sources of power in the function, division,


and organization in which you work to identify
powerful people and the organization’s power
structure.

 To influence organizational decision making and your


chances of promotion, try to develop a personal power
base to increase your visibility and individual power.

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Questions

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