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Organizational Politics


Politics is universal phenomenon in

organized society

Organizational Politics

Organizational politics refers to intentional behaviour that are designed to enhance or protect a persons influence and self interest.

Political behaviour involves some kind of power either

directly or in directly. Politics involves behaviour that is self-serving. Politics takes place when an individual recogonizes that achivement of his goal is influenced by the behaviour of others. All self serving behaviours which do not involve use of power or threat of use of power cannot be termed as politices.

Reasons for Organizatinal Politics

Competition for power:

political behaviour emerges because people want to derive power ,that is ,over and above the authority delegated to them formally. Discretionary Authority: Organizations provide positions with discretionary authority to use such powers in the case of special needs like emergency in organizations.

Ambiguity in Organization: Ambiguity in organization, particularly of roles and authority, generates politics. Subjective Evaluation of performance: Subjective evaluation of performance may also lead to political behaviour. In many cases,performance evaluation cannot be based on any concrete achievement, and it it the judgement of a superior which is taken as the basis for performance evaluation.

Saturation in Promotion:

People have a feeling that they have reached saturation level of promotion. When they reach the maximum level as per their talent and skills,they resort to political behaviour.
Joint Decision Making:

Large organizations emphasize on joint decision making to solve common problems faced by various units.Joint decision making generates conflict and politics.

Management of Organizational Politics

Much of the political behaviour is caused of lack of

clarity in job definitions, roles, rules, procedures,and authority. Therefore, by prescribing these things clearly, some dysfunctional behaviour can be checked. Highly dysfunctional forms of political behaviour can flourish only when supported directly or indirectly by top management personnel. Top management should not only indulge in dysfunctional politics but should also discourage it by clearly stating that such a behaviour is to be penalized.

Management of Organizational Politics

Management can take direct action to curb political

Behaviour ,When politics deters the organization from the pursuit of its objectives, management action is required. As far as possible, there should be objective criteria for setting objectives for individuals and departments, and the rewarding of individuals should by solely on attainment of these objectives.

Manifesting Politics
Manifests itself through: Struggle for resources Personal conflicts Competition for power and leadership Tactical influences by groups and individuals to obtain power Building personal stature Controlling accessing information Building coalitions

Understanding Politics
Understanding of organizational politics is essential

for leadership to maneuver the company towards its goals

Internally grown leaders Outsider leaders

Indicators for Leaders

To assess the political environment leaders look at: Job Satisfaction levels Responsiveness to innovative ideas Efficiency of decision-making machinery Speed of implementation of decisions

Times of Change & Crisis

Leaders must: Identify their support group Build a strong alliance with counter strategies Good leaders must be selected and given critical


Keeping Politics in Check

Organizational politics cannot be eliminated Political maneuvering should be managed to keep

it constructive and within reasonable bounds People can focus their attention on only so many things. The more it lands on politics, the less energy emotional and intellectual- is available to attend to the problems that fall under the heading of real work. -Abraham Zaleznik

Keeping Politics in Check

Screen out overly political individuals at hiring time Create an open-book management system Establish formal conflict resolution and grievance

processes Do only what you feel comfortable doing on national television