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CHAPTER 8 Power and Politics Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Chapter Outline • A Definition of Power • Bases of Power – Formal Power – Personal Power – Evaluating the Bases of Power • Dependency: The Key to Power – The General Dependency Postulate – What Creates Dependence? • Influence Tactics Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Chapter Outline • How Power Affects People • Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees – Definition of Empowerment • The Abuse of Power – Harassment in the Workplace • Politics: Power in Action – Definition of Political Behaviour – The Reality of Politics – Types of Political Activity – Impression Management – The Ethics of Behaving Politically Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Learning Outcomes 1. Define power. 2. Describe the five bases of power. 3. Explain the role of dependence in power relationships. 4. Identify nine power or influence tactics and their contingencies. 5. Explain what empowerment is, and the factors that lead to it. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Learning Outcomes 6. Show the connection between harassment and the abuse of power. 7. Identify the causes and consequences of political behaviour. 8. Apply impression management techniques. 9. Determine whether a political action is ethical. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Power and Politics • Power – A capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B acts in accordance with A’s wishes. • Dependence – B’s relationship to A when A possesses something that B needs. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Bases of Power Formal Power • Coercive Power – Power that is based on fear. • Reward Power – Power based on the ability to provide benefits or rewards to people. • Legitimate Power – Power based on relative position in the organizational hierarchy. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Bases of Power Personal Power • Expert Power – Power based on a person’s experience and knowledge. • Referent Power – You like the person and enjoy doing things for him or her. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Evaluating the Bases of Power People will respond in one of three ways: 1. Commitment – The person is enthusiastic about the request and carries the task out. 2. Compliance – The person goes along with the request grudgingly, putting in minimal effort. 3. Resistance – The person is opposed to the request and tries to avoid it. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Exhibit 8 -1 Continuum of Responses to Power Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Leaders’ Use of Power • The least effective power bases are the ones most likely to be used by managers. – Coercive, legitimate, and reward – Easiest to implement • Effective leaders use referent and/or expert power. • Deadline pressures increase group member reliance on individuals with expert power. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Dependency: The Key to Power • Importance – The things you control must be important. • Scarcity – A resource must be perceived as scarce. • Non-substitutability – The resource cannot be substituted with something else. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Increasing Dependency • How to increase the dependency of others on you: – Control things viewed as important. – The resources must be viewed as scarce. – The resource must have few or no substitutes (non-substitutability). Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Influence Tactics 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Rational persuasion Inspirational appeals Consultation Ingratiation Personal appeals Exchange Coalitions Pressure Legitimacy Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Political Skill • The ability to influence others in such a way as to enhance their own objectives. • Research indicates that: – Politically skilled individuals use influence tactics more effectively. – Political skills appear to be more effective when stakes are high. – Politically skilled people are able to exert influence without others detecting it. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
How Power Affects People • Does power corrupt? • Power can lead people to place their own interests ahead of others • Powerful people react (more negatively) to any threats to their competence • More willing to denigrate others • Power also leads to overconfident decision making Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Empowerment: Giving Power to Employees • The freedom and the ability of employees to make decisions and commitments. • Managers disagree over definition of empowerment. – Empowerment as delegating decision making within a set of clear boundaries versus – Empowerment as “a process of risk taking and personal growth” Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Conditions for True Empowerment 1. There must be a clear definition of the values and mission of the company. 2. Company must help employees acquire the relevant skills. 3. Employees need to be supported in their decision making, and not criticized when they try to do something extraordinary. 4. Employees need to be recognized for their efforts. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Characteristics of Empowered People • Sense of self-determination – Employees are free to choose how to do their work; they are not micromanaged. • Sense of meaning – Employees feel that their work is important to them; they care about what they are doing. • Sense of competence – Employees are confident about their ability to do their work well; they know they can perform. • Sense of impact – Employees believe they can have influence on their work unit; others listen to their ideas. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Exhibit 8 -2 Characteristics of Empowered People Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
The Abuse of Power: Harassment in the Workplace • People who engage in harassment in the workplace are typically abusing their power position. – Manager-employee • Where position power gives the manager the capacity to reward and coerce. – Co-workers • Although co-workers appear to engage in somewhat less severe forms of harassment than do managers, co-workers are the most frequent perpetrators of harassment, particularly sexual harassment, in organizations. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
The Abuse of Power: Workplace Bullying • Bullying can happen across levels of the organization, or among co-workers. • Recent research found that: – 40 percent of the respondents noted that they had experienced one or more forms of bullying weekly in the past six months. – 10 percent experienced bullying at a much greater level: five or more incidents a week. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
The Abuse of Power: Sexual Harassment • The Supreme Court of Canada definition – Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the employee. • There is disagreement as to what specifically constitutes sexual harassment. – Unwanted physical touching. – Recurring requests for dates when the person is clearly uninterested. – Coercive threats that a person will lose her or his job if she or he refuses a sexual proposition Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Additional Examples of Sexual Harassment • More subtle forms (harder to interpret): – Unwanted looks or comments – Off-colour jokes – Sexual artifacts such as nude calendars in the workplace – Sexual innuendo – Misinterpretations of where the line between “being friendly” ends and “harassment” begins Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Sexual Harassment: How Managers Can Protect Themselves and their Employees. • Make sure an active policy is in place. • Ensure employees that they will not face retaliation if a complaint is filed. • Investigate every complaint. • Make sure that offenders are disciplined or terminated. • Set up in house seminars to raise employee awareness. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Politics: Power in Action • Political behaviour is those activities that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Why Do Politics in an Organization Exist? • Organizations are made up of groups and individuals who have differing values, goals and interests. • Resources in organizations are limited. • Performance outcomes are not completely clear and objective. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Exhibit 8 -3 A Quick Measure of How Political Your Workplace Is Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Exhibit 8 -3 A Quick Measure of How Political Your Workplace Is Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Types of Political Activity • • Attacking or blaming others Using information Managing impressions Building support for ideas Praising others Building coalitions Associating with influential people Creating obligations Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Impression Management • The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them. • Researchers have compared applicants who use two distinct approaches in job interviews – Self promotion: promoting one’s accomplishments – Ingratiation: complimenting the interviewer and finding areas of agreement Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
The Ethics of Behaving Politically • No clear-cut ways to differentiate ethical from unethical politicking • Outright lies may be an attempt at impression management. Is it worth the risk? • Often difficult to weigh the costs and benefits of political action - Need to consider equity and fairness • Powerful people can persuasively argue that unfair actions are really fair and just, or in the best interests of the organization Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Global Implications • Views on Empowerment • Preference for Influence tactics • Response to Politics in the Workplace Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Summary 1. Effective leaders use expert and/or referent power. 2. To maximize your power, increase others’ dependence on you. 3. Politics is inevitable; managing politics well is a skill. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
OB at Work: For Review 1. What is power? 2. What are the five bases of power? 3. What is the role of dependence in power relationships? 4. What are the nine most often identified power or influence tactics and their contingencies? 5. What does it mean to be empowered? What factors lead to empowerment? Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
OB at Work: For Review 6. What is the connection between harassment and the abuse of power? 7. What are the causes and consequences of political behaviour? 8. What are some examples of impression management techniques? 9. What standards can you use to determine whether a political action is ethical? Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
OB at Work: For Managers ■ As a manager who wants to maximize your power, you will want to increase others’ dependence on you. You can, for instance, increase your power in relation to your boss by developing knowledge or a skill she needs and for which she perceives no ready substitute. ■ You will not be alone in attempting to build your power bases. Others, particularly employees and peers, will be seeking to increase your dependence on them, while you are trying to minimize it and increase their dependence on you. This push and pull is continual. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
OB at Work: For Managers ■ Try to avoid putting others in a position where they feel they have no power. ■ An effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. By assessing behaviour in a political framework, you can better predict the actions of others and use that information to formulate political strategies that will gain advantages for you and your work unit. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
OB at Work: For Managers ■ Consider that employees who have poor political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game generally relate perceived organizational politics to lower job satisfaction and self-reported performance, increased anxiety, and higher turnover. Therefore, if you are good at organizational politics, help your employees understand the importance of becoming politically savvy. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Breakout Group Exercises • Form small groups to discuss the following topics 1. Describe an incident where you tried to use political behaviour in order to get something you wanted. What tactics did you use? 2. In thinking about the incident described above, were your tactics effective? Why? 3. Describe an incident where you saw someone engaging in politics. What was your reaction to observing the political behaviour? Under what circumstances do you think political behaviour is appropriate? Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Experiential Exercise: Understanding Bases of Power Instructions for Role Play • Working in your group, read the instructions for the assignment. • You have 10 minutes to develop a 3 -minute role play, using the source of power assigned to your group. • You MUST stick to the time limit. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Role Play Scenario • You are the leader of a group that is trying to develop a website for a new client. One of your group members, who was assigned the task of researching and analyzing the websites of your client’s competition, has failed twice to bring the analysis to scheduled meetings, even though the member knew the assignment was due. Consequently, your group is falling behind in getting the website developed. As leader of the group, you have decided to speak with this team member, and use your specific brand of power to influence the individual’s behaviour. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.
Concepts to Skills: Politicking 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Frame arguments in terms of organizational goals. Develop the right image. Gain control of organizational resources. Make yourself appear indispensable. Be visible. Develop powerful allies. Avoid “tainted” members. Support your manager. Copyright © 2016 Pearson Canada Inc.