BA310-3-4%20Politics%20and%20Power%20Class

BA310-3-4%20Politics%20and%20Power%20Class - BA...

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1 BA 310:Politics and Power
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2 Roadmap Why are organizational politics important? Why are organizations political? Are organizational politics always bad? What are sources of power? How can I take political action with integrity? How can I gain power and exert influence? How should I work with my boss?
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3 The dangers of believing merit and effort will win out: “There is nothing more demoralizing than feeling you have a creative idea or a unique insight into a significant problem and then [coming] face-to-face with your organizational impotence. This face of power is seen by many …. They are energetic, optimistic, …. They are supremely confident that their “awesome” ability, state-of-the art training, and indefatigable energy will rocket them up the corporate ladder. However, many soon become discouraged or embittered. They blame the “old guard” for protecting their turf and not being open to new ideas. Their feelings of frustration prompt many to look for greener pastures of opportunity in other companies – only to be confronted anew with rejection and failure … These individuals learn quickly that only the naive believe that the best recommendation gets selected, the most capable individual gets the promotion, and the deserving unit gets its fair share of the budget . These are political decisions heavily influenced by the interests of the powerful .” Slides on power and politics adapted from “Power Dynamics in Organizations,” Linda Hill, Harvard Business School note 9-494-083. Quote from D.A. Whetten and K.S. Cameron, Developing Management Skills: Gaining Power and Influence, (New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993), pp. 26-27
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4 Organizational Politics and Conflict Organizational Politics: Activities organizational actors use to: Use their power to achieve their goals Overcome resistance or opposition. Increase their power Can be functional or dysfunctional Political strategies Specific tactics used to increase power and use it effectively, to gain the support of other people while overcoming resistance Political Conflict: Discord that arises when goals, interests or values of different individuals or groups are incompatible and they block or thwart each other’s efforts to achieve their objectives.
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5 How does political conflict arise? Some basic realities of organizational life: Scarce resources: You can’t fund it all Complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity: Can’t know what’s best Interdependence: Key players depend on others Power gap: Formal authority isn’t enough, influence is crucial Differences in goals, perspectives, values, interests Implications: Often, no consensually accepted OR “optimal” decision is possible across individuals, groups, or functions. Discord arises when goals, interests or values of different
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BA310-3-4%20Politics%20and%20Power%20Class - BA...

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