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Power, Politics and Leadership


Melanie Gilmore

on 9 February 2011

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Transcript of Power, Politics and Leadership

Power, Politics, and Leadership What is power? There are four bases of power:
legitimate power
reward power
coercive power
and information power Legitimate Power
Definition: The lawful right to make a decision and expect compliance.
Reward Power
The authority to give employees rewards for compliance.
How can reward power be used effectively? Coercive Power
the power to punish for noncompliance; it is based on fear.
The book says the use of fear can be seen as a mixed motivator. What do you think? Information Power
Power stemming from formal control over the information people need to do their work.
How do you think the internet has changed the use of information power? Personal Power There are three sources of power classified as Personal Powers: Expert Power
The ability to influence others through specialized knowledge, skills or abilities. Referent Power
The ability to influence others through one's desirable traits and characteristics. Prestige power
The power stemming from a person's status and reputation. All classified as personal power because they are derived from the person rather than the organization Power Stemming from Ownership
This is based off of how closely the leader is linked to shareholders and board members.
Ownership power is also associated with how much money he or she has invested in the firm.
"The New Golden Rule applies: The person who holds the gold, rules." Why do most of us work? Power Stemming from Dependencies What does this mean? Power Stemming from Dependencies means that a person accrues power by others being dependent on him or her for things they value. What are examples of Power Stemming from Dependencies? Richard M. Emerson noted that, "Power resides implicitly in the other's dependence." pg. 201 Power Derived from Capitalizing on Opportunity
Being in the right place at the right time and taking the appropriate action. Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems
Strategic contingency theory- of power suggests that units best available to cope with the firm's critical problems and uncertainties acquire relatively large amounts of power.
Example- When an organization faces substantial lawsuits, the legal department will gain power and influence over organizational decisions. Power Stemming from Being Close to Power
Leadership Tactics for Becoming an Empowering Leader A leader's power and influence increase when he of she shares power with others.
And because the manager shares credit for their accomplishments, he or she becomes more powerful. The leader/manager who empowers workers can focus less on controlling workers and more on helping them overcome obstacles or capitalize on opportunities, such as pursuing innovative ideas. Page 204 What makes this speech empowering? Steps to becoming Empowered
Finding Meaning
Internal commitment Pg. 205 Empowering Practices Foster Initiative and REsponsibility
A leader can empower team members simply by fostering greater initiative and responsibility in their assignments. Link Work Activities to Organizational Goals
Empowerment works better when the empowered activities are aligned with the strategic goals of the organization. Provide Ample Information
For empowerment to be effective, employees should have ample information about everything that affects their work. Allow Group Members to Choose Methods
The leader sets the vision of what needs to be done but lets group members choose the methods used towards reaching that goal. Encourage Self-Leadership
Encouraging team members to lead themselves is the heart of empowerment.
Self-leadership- the idea is that all organizational members are capable of leading themselves at lease to some extent. Establish Limits to Empowerment
One of the major situations in which empowerment creates disharmony and dysfunction is when workers lack a clear perception of the boundaries of empowerment.
Some may feel they can make decisions unilaterally, without conferring with team members or management. Continue to Lead
Although leaders empower group members, they should still provide guidance, emotional support, and recognition. Take into Account Cultural Differences
A group member's cultural values might lead to either an easy acceptance of empowerment or reluctance to be empowered. Effective Delegation and Empowerment
Delegation- the assignment of formal authority and responsibility for accomplishing a specific task to another person.
Deals with specific task, wheras empowerment covers a broad range of activities. Factors that Contribute to Organizational Politics What is Organizational politics?
refers to informal approaches to gaining power through means other than merit or luck. Is organizational Politics a positive or negative for society? Some say POsitive...
Because "Political skill is an interpersonal style that combines social awareness with the ability to communicate well. Some say negative...
some say it emphasizes self-interest at the expense of others, engaging in mysterious activities, or "kissing up." By definition, politics is used to acquire power.
What do you think??? Pyramid-Shaped Organization Structure
This structure can be the most fundamental reason why organizational members are motivated toward political behavior.
Concentrates power at the top
Although, empowerment may be motivational for many workers, it is unlikely to satisfy the quest to hold a formal position of power. Subjective Standards of Performance
People often resort to organizational politics because they do not believe that the organization has an objective and fair way of judging their performance and suitability for promotion.
Ex.- "It's not what you know but who you know." applies to organizations that lack clear-cut standards of performance.
Environmental Uncertainty and Turbulence
When people operate in an unstable and unpredictable environment they tend to behave politically.
In the downsizing of corporations, do you believe that favorism plays a major role in determining who will survive? Emotional Insecurity
Some people resort to political maneuvers to ingratiate themselves with superiors because they lack confidence in their talents and skills.
Example- An insecure person might laugh loudly at every humorous comment the boss makes.
I call this a brown noser!!! Machiavellian Tendencies
To manipulate others, sometimes for your own personal advantage
Machiavellianism traces back to Niccolo Machiavelli (1469-1527), an Italian political philosopher and statesman.
Most Famous work: The Prince--describes how a leader may acquire and maintain power.
Study by Gerald Biberman showed a positive relationship between Machiavellianism and political behavior, based on questionnaires that measured these tendencies.
Encouraging Admiration from Subordinates
Pretty much, this sums up to managers saying they want honest feedback from employees but don't mean it.
They also like praise and frown on receiving negative feedback.
Admirers are more likely to receive good assignments and high performance evaluations :) Political Tactics and Strategies Ethical Political Tactics and Strategies Three related groups in ethical behavior: tactics and strategies aimed at :
1.) Gaining power
2.) Building relationships with Superiors and coworkers
3.) Avoid Political blunders Strategies Aimed
at Gaining Power 1. DEvelop power contacts
Ex. Being more social or websites such as LinkedIn 2. Control Vital Information
It is politically important to stay informed
Information is power, therefore the more you know, the more power you have. 3. Control Lines of Communication
Particularly access to key people
Ex. Some Executives having assistants to screen their phone calls and e-mails. 4. Do what the political environment demands to attain your goals 5. Bring in outside experts
Executives often hire a consultant to conduct a study or cast an opinion. Page 215 6. Make a quick showing
Kind of a showing off of ability
Ex. Being able to solve a problem first. 7. Remeber that everyone expects to be paid back.
According to the Law of Reciprocity, everybody in the world expects to be paid back.
If you do not find some way to reimburse people for the good deeds they have done for you, your supply of people to perform good deeds will run short. 8. Be Politcally correct
Being careful not to offend or slight anyone 9. Be the First to accept reasonable change
Most people resist change so when a person steps forward and accepts it they gain political capital Strategies and Tactics Aimed at Building Relationships
1. Display loyalty
2. Manage your impression
3. Ask satisfied customers to contact your boss
4. Be courteous, pleasant, and positive
5. Ask advice
6. Send thank-you notes to large numbers of people.
7. Flatter others sensibly Strategies Aimed at Avoiding Political Blunders
This is a strategy for retaining power that is already and from making power-eroding blunders.
1. Criticizing the boss in a public forum
2. Bypassing the boss
3. Declining an offer from top management
4. Putting your foot in your mouth (being needlessly tactless
5. Not conforming to the company dress code
6. Writing embarrassing or incriminating email messages Unethical Political Tactics and Strategies Backstabbing Embrace or Demolish Setting a Person Up for Failure Divide and Rule Playing Territorial Games
Territorial games involve protecting and hoarding resources that give one power, such as information, relationships, and decision-making authority. Creating and Resolving a False Catastrophe Exercising Control Over Dysfunctional Politics Too much politicking can result in wasted time and effort, thereby lowering productivity.
The human consequences of excessive negative and unethical politics can be substantial.
Examples- lowered morale and loss of people who intensely dislike office politics. Strategy to control politics in an organization Organization leaders must be aware of its causes and techniques. Avoiding favoritism and cronyism Setting good examples at the top of the organization Individuals and the organization need to share the same goals
This is called goal congruence
Workers with goal congruence are less likely to play off of office politics Discuss questionable information in a public forum
Ex. Perhaps this is what Taco Bell should do regarding their "beef" :) Hire people with integrity THE END!!!
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