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UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
UM 7 Politics & Power
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UM 7 Politics & Power

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  • 1. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Power & Politics Organization Theory
  • 2. [Michels’ “Iron Law of Oligarchy”] –archy and –ocracy Anarchy = rule by no one Monarchy = rule by the one (mon…) Oligarchy = rule of the few Plutocracy (plutarchy) = rule by the rich Theocracy = rule by religious leaders Autocracy = rule by autocrat/dictator (Aristocracy = [rule by] the upper class) Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Democracy = rule by the many Meritocracy = rule by the talented/merit Technocracy = rule by technicians “Mobocracy, Netocracy, Gerentocracy,” etc.
  • 3. [Michels’ “Iron Law of Oligarchy”] –archy and –ocracy Oligarchy = rule of the few Democracy = rule by the many But no –archy or –ocracy word for: rule in a democratic republic where the many elect the few to Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya represent them and made decisions. (“Republican” form of government.)
  • 4. Robert Michels‟ “Iron Law of Oligarchy” "Who says organization says oligarchy.” Michels’ argument: All large organizations are inevitably run Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya by an oligarchy (a handful of people) – even the socialist parties of Europe! Oligarchs work to preserve their power.
  • 5. Robert Michels‟ “Iron Law of Oligarchy” Criticisms: OK, but… organizations vary enormously in how porous is entry into the leadership group & how much “circulation of elites.” Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Ignores concept of democratic republics! Democratically the many elect the few as representatives to make decisions.
  • 6. French & Raven: Bases of Power Coercion Expertise Rewards POWER Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Referent Legitimacy
  • 7. French & Raven: Bases of Power ● Attempt at power outside regular realm will tend to reduce power! ● Coercion decreases attraction and increases resistance; rewards do the opposite. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya ● Coercion more powerful if accepted as legitimate.
  • 8. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Power = “ability to mobilize resources to get things done.”
  • 9. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness Lines of Infor- mation Lines of Lines of Supply Support Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Gets resources Gets freedom for org tasks POWER for risk taking, (and rewards) using discretion
  • 10. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya She seems to assume  basic legitimacy and coercive powers; turns to the stronger bases for org power.
  • 11. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness Feel powerless when: ● Little freedom (bound by rules and routine, little flexibility, little discretion) Especially ● Little attention vulnerable: (Peripheral activity, limited ☆ Front-line supervisors Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya contact with sr. officials and others; no publicity) ☆ Staff professionals ● Little opportunity (Few advancement opportuni- ☆ Sometimes top executives ties for self or subordinates)
  • 12. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness To increase power, share it! Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya
  • 13. Models of Power in Pfeffer: Organization Decision Making POLITICAL RATIONAL BUREAUCRATIC POWER Efficiency & Stability & Struggle Emphasis effectiveness consistency & conflict Process Rational & logical Standard process Argumentative Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Goals Clear & consistent Fairly consistent Divergent Norm Optimize outcome Follow precedent Coalition victory Infor- Extensive & Scope set Used/withheld mation systematic by the rules strategically
  • 14. March: The Power of Power “Power” seems obvious but is very difficult to measure and study in a rigorous way! Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya
  • 15. Mintzberg: Power Game & the Players March said power is a poor concept for analysis, but Mintzberg argues it is extremely valuable! “Organizational behavior is a power game.” Passive Influencers Quit “Loyalty” “Voice” “Exit”  Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Players in the power game are the “influencers.”
  • 16. Mintzberg French & Raven („59) Kanter Resource Lines of Supply Tech skill Expertise Lines of Knowledge Infor- mation Reciprocity Access Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Legitimacy Legal rights Rewards Coercion + Will to use Referent (charisma) Lines of + Skill to use Support
  • 17. Mintzberg: Power Game & the Players PUBLICS Owners Directors General Public Government Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Employee Associations (Unions) (Partners, Suppliers) ASSOCIATES (Competitors, Clients) Special Interest Groups
  • 18. Buzzword: Stakeholder “Stakeholder”: those with a stake in the organization Organi- zation Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Primary vs. secondary stakeholders

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