Unformatted text preview: and disadvantages within the organization. Organizational politics is the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or to obtain sanctioned ends through nonsanctioned means and the art of creative compromise among competing interests. The above definition clearly points out the following: a. Political behavior fall outside the ambit of one’s specified job requirements. b. It includes efforts to influence the goals, criteria, or processes employed for decisionmaking. c. It includes a variety of political behaviors such as, withholding vital information from decision makers, whistleblowing, spreading rumors, leaking confidential information, etc. Sikkim Manipal University 156 Power And Politics Unit 11 In this context, it is necessary to make a distinction between legitimate and illegitimate power dimensions within organizational contexts. The “LegitimateIllegitimate” Dimension may be explained in terms of the following (Farrell & Peterson, 1988):
· Legitimate political behavior refers to normal everyday politics—complaining to your supervisor, bypassing the chain of command, forming coalitions, etc. · Illegitimate political behaviors that violate the implied rules of the game, such as sabotage, whistle blowing, and symbolic protests, etc. · The vast majority of all organizational political actions are legitimate. The extreme illegitimate forms of political behavior pose a very real risk of loss of organizational membership or extreme sanction. There are two quite different schools of thought found existing in the analysis of literature on organizational politics. The first tradition builds on Machiavelli’s philosophy and defines politics in terms of selfinterest and the use of nonsanctioned means. In this tradition, organizational politics may be formally defined as the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or to obtain sanctioned ends through nonsanctioned influence means. Managers are often considered political when they seek their own goals or use means that are not currently authorized by the organization or that push legal limits. W here there is uncertainty or ambiguity, it is often extremely diff icult to tell whether a manager is being political in this selfserving sense (Pfeffer, 1981). The second tradition treats politics as a necessary function resulting from differences in the self interests of individuals. Here, organizational politics is viewed as the art of creative compromise among competing interests. In a heterogeneous society, individuals will disagree as to whose self interests are most valuable and whose concerns should, therefore, be bounded by collective interests. Politics come into play as individuals need to develop compromises, avoid confrontation, and coexist together. The same holds true in organizations, where individuals join, work, and stay together because of their selfinterests being served. It is equally important to remember that the Sikkim Manipal University 157 Power And P...
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