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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Power and Politics Robbins & Judge Chapter 13

Robbins and Judge Chapter 13

Power and Politics are words with negative connotations.  The chapter describes power and politics as innate to being in a group.  Powerful people may not be constrained by pressures that constrain people without power.

A critical element of power is that there is a person is dependent on another for resources.  I.E., information, money or a passing grade.

Leadership vs. Power - Ldr requires followers to believe in the same objectives.  Power just means one is dependent on the other.
Power is broken into 5 types:
Formal Power Categories
1) Coercive - fear of consequences when there is a failure to comply.  I.E., via pain, suspend or demote, embarrass the person, or even withholding important information.  Information is classified as a powerful resource.
2)  Reward Power - Cotnrolling bonuses, raises, promotions preferred parking spaces etc.
3) Legitimate Power - Structural position in the organization.  Followers in the group accept that position as powerful.  Principle, presidents, directors.
Personal Power
1) Expert Power - Experts wield power via knowledge . Doctors, teachers, lawyers have specialized knowledge.
2)  Referent Power - This is the ability to influence others because they want to be like you.  Michael Jordan can convince children to buy his shoes because they admire him.

It's been clear that the Personal Powers are the most effective to have.  Groups find satisfaction where people are experts and feel they admire the person in power.  Coercive power is unrelated to any source of satisfaction.
People buy products that famous people endorse because they want to emulate them.  These celebrities have referent power.

The person being depended on always has power over one who doesn't.
The department that is depended upon is the most powerful in an organization.  In a healthcare organization, the physicians are the most important.
Scarcity - Being a doctor in a rural area makes the community dependent on one.  This creates power.
Nonsubstitutability - This is when one cannot be substituted by another.  A powerful highly skilled surgeon that cannot be replaced by another has power.
Power Tactics
1.  Legitimacy 2. Rational persuasion (soft), 3. Inspirational appeals(soft), 4.  Consultation-involving one in planning together(soft) 5. Exchanging of favors(hard) 6. Personal appeals-based on friendship(soft), 7. Ingratiation - flattery
8.  Pressure(hard & downward) 9. Coalition(hard)

Organization Factors that influence politcs
Political activity is more a function of the org's characteristics.  Not of the individual.  Certain situations and types of org culture promote politics more than others.  Low levels of trust, and less resources, and ambiguiousness, all create politics.  Promotional decisions are consistently found to be based on politics.

Studies show that job satisfaction is negative related to perceptions of org politics.  It also relates to lower performance because people perceive it as unfair.

Impression Management
How individuals control how others think of them.  Sitatuions with high uncertainty and ambiguity provide great atmosphere for people making fraudulent claims and reduce risks associated with lying.

Job Interview--People that engage in self promotion get more follow-up visitis, even after adjusting for gpa, gender and job type.    Ingratiation works as well--agree with interviewer's opinions and emphasize of fit with the interviewer.

Perf Reviews - For performance ratings people who ingratiate with supervisors do better than self promoters.

In job interview, interviewer cannot confirm self promotion,  however, supervisors can, so self promotion doesn't work.
Immoral people can justify almost any behavior.  Those who are powerful, articulate and persuasive are most vulerable to ethical lapses  because they get away with it successfully.

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