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Chapter # 13: Power and Politics

1. Define power and contrast leadership and power


Power refers to the capacity one person to influence on other person that
acts according to the wishes of him.
Inherent in this definition is the idea of dependency.
The stronger the relationship or the dependency that one person has when
the other possesses something they want or requires, the greater the
dependency on that person.
Contrasting Leadership and Power
Leadership
1. Focuses on goal achievement.
2. Requires goal compatibility with
followers.
3. Focuses influence downward.
4. Research Focus: Leadership styles
and relationships with followers.

Power
1. Used as a means for achieving
goals.
2. Requires follower dependency.
3. Used to gain lateral and upward
influence.
4. Research Focus: Power tactics for
gaining compliance.

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5. Contrast the five bases of power


There are two main bases of power:
I.
II.

Formal Power
Personal Power

I.

Formal Power
Formal Power is established by an individuals position in an organization.
Conveys the ability to coerce (force or compel) or reward, from formal
authority, or from control of information.
A person with formal power can utilize following different power bases to
accomplish their tasks.
a) Coercive Power (Forced)
b) Reward Power
c) Legitimate Power
a) Coercive Power (Forced)
Coercive power is the fear-based power to punish for noncompliance.
b) Reward Power
Reward power is the authority to give employees rewards for compliance,
such as cash bonuses or time off etc.
c) Legitimate Power
The power a person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal
hierarchy of an organization such as CEO, CFO, or CBO.
Legitimate power is the lawful right to make decisions and expect
compliance.

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II.

Personal Power
Personal power which comes through the individuals personality and
characteristics.
This is often more effective than formal power.
Personal power can be based on:
a) Expert Power
b) Referent Power
a) Expert Power
Expert power is power stemming from specialized knowledge, skills, or
abilities of individual to influence other people.
This power contributes to ones charisma.
b) Referent Power
Referent power is power stemming from desirable traits and characteristics
of individual to influence other people.
This power also contributes to ones charisma.
6. Dependency
Central to the concept of power is dependency.
The greater a persons dependency on another, the more power they hold
over that person.
When resources are very important, scarce, or there is no easy substitute,
then the use and amount of power will rise in an organization.

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7. Explain the role of dependence in power relationships (Power Tactics)


Exam Q: What are nine power or influence tactics? List and Explain.
Exam Q: What are nine power or influence tactics the managers use for
control? Explain.
Exam Q: How do the managers control employees behavior through
power or influence tactics? Explain (Three Times).
Power tactics are ways in which individuals translate power bases into
specific actions.
Nine different tactics are:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.
IX.
I.

Legitimacy
Rational persuasion
Inspirational appeals
Consultation
Exchange
Personal appeals
Ingratiation
Pressure
Coalitions
Legitimacy

Legitimacy is relying on authority position or saying a request accords with


organizational policies or rules.
II.

Rational persuasion
Rational persuasion is presenting logical arguments and factual evidence to
demonstrate a request is reasonable.

III.

Inspirational appeals
Inspirational appeals are developing emotional commitment by appealing
to a targets values, needs, hopes, and aspirations.

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IV.

Consultation
Consultation is increasing the targets support by involving in deciding how
will accomplish the plan.

V.

Exchange
Exchange is rewarding the target with benefits or favors in exchange for
following a request.

VI.

Personal appeals
Personal appeals are asking for compliance based on friendship or loyalty.

VII.

Ingratiation
Ingratiation is using flattery, praise, or friendly behavior prior to making a
request.

VIII.

Pressure
Pressure is using warnings, repeated demands, and threats for following a
request

IX.

Coalitions
Coalitions are enlisting the aid or support of others to persuade the target
to agree.
Some tactics are more effective than others.
Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation tend to be the
most effective, especially when the audience is highly interested in the
outcomes of a decision process.
Pressure tends to backfire and is typically the least effective of the nine
tactics

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Preferred Power Tactics by Influence Direction


Depending on the direction of the influence that is desired, different tactics
will be more effective as shown in the following table:

Upward Influence

Downward Influence

Lateral Influence

Rational persuasion

Rational persuasion

Rational persuasion

Legitimacy

Legitimacy

Inspirational appeals

Personal appeals

Consultation

Consultation

Exchange

Exchange

Ingratiation

Ingratiation

Pressure

Coalitions

Factors Influencing the Choice and Effectiveness of Power Tactics


Sequencing of tactics: Softer to harder tactics work best.
Skillful use of a tactic:
Relative power of the tactic user: Some tactics work better when applied
downward or upward.
The type of request attaching to the tactic: Is the request legitimate?
How the request is perceived: Is the request consistent with the targets
values?
The culture of the organization: Culture affects users choice of tactic.
Country-specific cultural factors: Local values favor certain tactics over
others.
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Power in Groups: Coalitions


Coalitions are clusters of individuals who temporarily come together to
achieve a specific purpose.
Seek to maximize their size to attain influence.
Seek a broad and diverse constituency for support of their objectives.
Occur more frequently in organizations with high task and resource
interdependencies.
Occur more frequently if tasks are standardized and routine.
8. Sexual Harassment: Unequal Power in the Workplace
Unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or
physical conduct of a sexual nature.
The U.S. Supreme Court test for determining if sexual harassment has
occurred:
Whether comments or behavior in a work environment would reasonably
be perceived, and is perceived, as hostile or abusive.
Steps for Managers to Take to Prevent Sexual Harassment
Make sure a policy against it is in place.
Ensure that employees will not encounter retaliation if they file a
complaint.
Investigate every complaint and include the human resource and legal
departments.
Make sure offenders are disciplined or terminated.
Set up in-house seminars and training.

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9. Politics: Power in Action


Political Behavior is defines as the activities that are not required as part of
ones formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to
influence, the distribution of advantages or disadvantages within the
organization.
Political behavior can take the form of:
a) Legitimate Behavior
b) Illegitimate behavior
a) Legitimate Behavior
Legitimate political behavior is normal everyday politics
Such as complaining, bypassing, or obstructing.
b) Illegitimate behavior
Illegitimate behavior is the extreme political behaviour that violates the
implied rules of the game.
Such as sabotage, whistle blowing, and symbolic protest, which includes
things such as wearing protest buttons or calling in sick as a group.
The Reality of Politics
Politics often occurs when resources are low the excess demand for the
resources leads to competition and political behaviors.
When the scarce (rare, occasional) resources are distributed, there will be
varying views regarding how fairly or effectively the distribution was
done.
Perceptions can be distorted such that the manager feels they are
documenting decisions and the employee just feels that the manager is
covering his/her rear.
Most of the time, managers are making decisions under ambiguous
conditions and there is not a readily available objective standard.
This creates a context in which political maneuvering is encouraged.
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10.Identify the causes and consequences of political behavior


a) Factors Contributing to Political Behavior
b) Employee Responses to Organizational Politics
c) Defensive Behaviors
a) Factors Contributing to Political Behavior
There are a number of factors that influence political behavior.
These factors include individual factors such as those with high match
personalities or high expectations of success, as well as organizational
factors such as a culture of low trust and role ambiguity.
The combination of these factors will lead to political behavior which can
lead to favorable outcomes such as increased rewards or decreased
punishments as shown in the following table:

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b) Employee Responses to Organizational Politics


Most employees will not engage in a high level of politics and often react
negatively to politics.
Their reactions include:
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

Decreased job satisfaction


Increased anxiety and stress
Increased turnover
Reduction in performance

Even though the given outcome for the individual employee who engages
in politics may be favorable, it is often a negative impact for the group as a
whole.
c) Defensive Behaviors
Politics often put employees on the defense.
When employees are acting defensively, they will behave in ways that hurt
the team and organization in the long run.
Some defensive behaviors include avoiding action by over conforming and
stalling; avoiding blame by playing it safe or blaming it on someone else;
and avoiding change by preventing action or protecting themselves.

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How Good Am I at Playing Politics?


11.Apply impression management techniques
Explain What is Impression Management? How employees can apply
impression management techniques for their benefits? (Two Times)
What is Impression Management?
Impression Management is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious
attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person,
object or event by regulating and controlling information in social
interaction.
IM Effectiveness
Impression management has shown to be effective in different situations,
such as job interviews and performance evaluations.
It is important that in an interview, you set forth a positive impression.
Many applicants utilize IM to get the interviewer to like them.
Self-promotion is seen as important because it shows confidence; however
in an interview ingratiation is not as effective.
Albeit, in performance evaluations ingratiation has been found to be a
positive technique and linked to higher rankings.
However, self-promotion does not work as well in this context.
You must be aware of your context when utilizing IM techniques in order to
get the outcome desired.

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IM Techniques
Some techniques used to manage this impression are:
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.

Conformity
Favors
Excuses
Apologies
Self-Promotion
Enhancement
Flattery
Exemplification

I.

Conformity
Agreeing with someone elses opinion to gain his or her approval is a form
of ingratiation (Seek to please somebody).
Example: A manager tells his boss, Youre absolutely right on your
reorganization plan for the western regional office. I couldnt agree with
you more.

II.

Favors
Doing something nice for someone to gain that persons approval is a form
of ingratiation.
Example: A salesperson says to a prospective client, Ive got two tickets to
the theater tonight that I cant use. Take them. Consider it a thank-you for
taking the time to talk with me.

III.

Excuses
Explanations of a predicament-creating event aimed at minimizing the
apparent severity of the predicament (difficulty) is a defensive IM
technique.
Example: A sales manager says to her boss, We failed to get the ad in the
paper on time, but no one responds to those ads anyway.

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IV.

Apologies
Admitting responsibility for an undesirable event and simultaneously
seeking to get a pardon for the action is a defensive IM technique.
Example: An employee says to his boss, Im sorry I made a mistake on the
report. Please forgive me.

V.

Self-Promotion
Highlighting ones best qualities, downplaying ones deficits, and calling
attention to ones achievements is a self-focused IM technique.
Example: A salesperson tells his boss, Matt worked unsuccessfully for
three years to try to get that account. I sewed it up in six weeks. Im the
best closer this company has.

VI.

Enhancement
Claiming that something you did is more valuable than most other
members of the organizations would think is a self-focused IM technique.
Example: A journalist tells his editor, My work on this celebrity divorce
story was really a major boost to our sales (even though the story only
made it to page 3 in the entertainment section).

VII.

Flattery
Complimenting others about their virtues in an effort to make one-self
appear perceptive and likeable is an assertive IM technique.
Example: A new sales trainee says to her peer, You handled that clients
complaint so tactfully! I could never have handled that as well as you did.

VIII.

Exemplification
Doing more than you need to in an effort to show how dedicated and
hardworking you are is an assertive IM technique.
Example: An employee sends e-mails from his work computer when he
works late so that his supervisor will know how long hes been working.

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The Ethics of Behaving Politically


12.Determine whether a political action is ethical

I.
II.
III.

Is political behavior ethical in the workplace?


Well, the answer is probably yes and no.
It is difficult to tell ethical from unethical politicking.
There are three questions that can help define ethical/unethical political
behavior:
What is the utility of engaging in the behavior?
Does the utility balance out any harm done by the action?
Does the action conform to standard of equity and justice?

The answers to these questions can lead you to decide if the behavior is ethical or
unethical.

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