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5 Power, Politics, And Leadership

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5 Power, Politics, And Leadership

  1. 1. Power, Politics, and Leadership
  2. 2. What is Power?
  3. 3. <ul><li>Power is a measure of a person's ability to control the environment around them, including the behavior of other people. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The term authority is often used for power, perceived as legitimate by the social structure. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Power can be seen as evil or unjust; indeed, all evil and injustice committed by man against man involve power. </li></ul><ul><li>The use of power need not involve coercion (force or the threat of force). </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Leadership and Power </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders have power in situations. This does not necessarily mean that leaders should or do have power over people. </li></ul><ul><li>Power is simply the right to provide leadership . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As leadership involves influence over other people, power is usually given by the group to the leader. So too can the group take the power away if they are not satisfied with the leader. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The exercise of power is a complex process and appears to be dependent on context , personality and expertise . </li></ul>
  5. 5. Sources and Types of Power <ul><li>To exercise influence, a leader must have power , the potential or ability to influence decisions and control resources. </li></ul><ul><li>Power is the third pillar of leadership, the other two being knowledge and trust . </li></ul><ul><li>Effective leaders use power appropriately, and know: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When and how to be directive and when to delegate ; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>When and how to be consultative , providing guidance instead of being directive. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Power stemming from being close to power 7 Power stemming from managing critical problems 6 Power derived from capitalizing upon opportunity 5 Power stemming from providing resources 4 Power stemming from ownership 3 Power stemming from characteristics of the person ( Personal power ) 2 Power granted by the organization ( Position power ) 1 Types and Sources of Power S. No.
  7. 7. Position Power: Most obvious and important <ul><ul><li>Also called &quot; Legitimate Power ”, refers to power of an individual because of the relative position within an organization. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It is formal authority delegated to the holder of the position. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is legitimate power enough to produce effects on others or influence them as desired by the leader? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leader team of experts (Doctors) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Position Power: Most obvious and important Information Power: the power stemming from formal control over the information people need to do their work. The sales manager who control sales leads holds considerable power. 4 Coercive Power:: the power to punish for noncompliance; it is based on fear. 3 Reward Power: the authority to give employees rewards for compliance is referred to as reward power. 2 Legitimate Power : the lawful right to make a decision and expect compliance is called legitimate power. 1 Source of Position Power S. No.
  9. 9. Personal Power <ul><li>Three source of power stem from characteristics or behaviors of the power actor: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Expert Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referent Power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prestige Power </li></ul></ul><ul><li>These are classified as personal power because they are derived from the person rather than from the organization . </li></ul>
  10. 10. Personal Power <ul><li>Expert Power: Expert Power is the ability to influence others through specialized knowledge , skills , or abilities . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It is an individual's power deriving from the skills or expertise of the person and the organization's needs for those skills and expertise. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlike the others, this type of power is usually highly specific and limited to the particular area in which the expert is trained and qualified. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Personal Power <ul><li>Referent Power : is the ability to influence others through desirable traits and characteristics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It means the power or ability of individuals to attract others and build loyalty. It's based on the charisma and interpersonal skills of the power holder. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Prestige Power stems from one’s status and reputation. A manager who has accumulated important business successes acquires prestige power. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Power Stemming from Ownership <ul><li>Executive leaders accrue power in their capacity as agents acting on behalf of shareholders. </li></ul><ul><li>The strength of ownership power depends on how closely the leader is linked to shareholders and board members. </li></ul><ul><li>The leader’s ownership power is also associated with how much money s/he has invested in the firm. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An executive who has a major share in the company is less likely to be fired by the board. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Power Stemming from Providing Resources <ul><li>According to this perspective, the organization requires a continuing flow of human resources, money, customers and clients, technological inputs, and materials to continue to function. </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals who can provide these key resources accrue power. </li></ul><ul><li>An important consequence of resource related power is that when leaders start losing their power to control resources, their power declines. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Power Stemming from Capitalizing on Opportunity <ul><li>Power can be derived from being in the right place at the right time and taking the appropriate action. (Colin Powel) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What about Gen. Musharaf, Zardari </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It pays to be ‘where the action is’ in order to gain power through capitalizing on opportunity. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems <ul><li>The strategic contingency theory of power suggests that units that are best able to cope with the firm’s critical problems and uncertainties acquire relatively large amounts of power. </li></ul><ul><li>Another important aspect this theory concerns the unit’s centrality . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It refers to the extent to which a unit’s activities are linked into the system of organizational activities. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems <ul><li>A unit has high centrality when it is an important and integral part of the work done by another unit. </li></ul><ul><li>Holding a position of centrality does influence the power a worker, and therefore, his/her unit can exert. (Shaukat Tareen) </li></ul>
  17. 17. Factors that Contribute to Organizational Politics <ul><li>People want power for many different reasons, which is why political behavior is so widespread in organization. </li></ul><ul><li>A number of individual and organizational factors contribute to political behavior: </li></ul>Disagreements that prevent rational decision making 6 Machiavellian tendencies 5 Emotional insecurity 4 Environmental uncertainty and turbulence 3 Subjective standards of performance 2 Pyramid-shaped organization structure 1 Factors contributing to political behavior in organizations S. No.
  18. 18. <ul><li>Pyramid-shaped organization structure : A Hierarchical Organization Structure is a pyramid-shaped system that arranges the relations between the entities within an organization in a top-down way. ... </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The power is accumulated at the top of the rung. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subjective standards of performance are based on the personal preferences of the manager rather than based on any measurable results to be achievable. </li></ul><ul><li>It leads to political behavior because people they do of not think organization has objective and fair way judging performance. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Environmental uncertainties and turbulence: </li></ul><ul><li>When people or organization units they represent operate in unstable and unpredictable environment, they tend to behave politically. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Emotional insecurity is a feeling of general unease or nervousness that may be triggered by perceiving oneself to be unloved, inadequate or worthless ... </li></ul><ul><li>This causes them to engage in politics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A person who is insecure; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>lacks confidence in their own value and capability, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>trust in themselves or others, or </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>has fears that a present positive state is temporary and will let them down and cause them loss or distress by &quot;going wrong&quot; in future. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Machiavellian tendencies refers to a person's tendency to deceive and manipulate others for personal gain </li></ul>
  21. 21. Political Tactics and Strategies <ul><li>To make effective use of organizational politics, leaders must be aware of specific political tactics and strategies. </li></ul><ul><li>There are many. We will examine a few. </li></ul><ul><li>Political Behavior: under this heading we will examine political behaviors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Gaining power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Building relationships with superiors and co-workers; and </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding political blunders </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Political Tactics and Strategies <ul><li>All political tactics are aimed at acquiring and maintaining power, even the power to avoid a difficult assignment. </li></ul><ul><li>Six techniques to gaining power: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop power contacts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control vital information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep informed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control lines of communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring in outside experts (leaders bring in outside consultants to legitimate their positions) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make a quick showing (a display of dramatic results can help gain acceptance for one’s efforts) </li></ul></ul>1. Strategies and Tactics aimed Directly at Gaining Power
  23. 23. Political Tactics and Strategies <ul><li>Much of the organizational politics involves building positive relationships with network members who can be helpful now or later. </li></ul><ul><li>Here are some strategies and tactics most often used: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Display loyalty </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Manage your impression </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask satisfied customers to contact your boss </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be courteous, pleasant, and positive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Send thank you notes to large numbers of people </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Flatter other sensibly </li></ul></ul>2. Strategies and Tactics Aimed at Building Relationships
  24. 24. Political Tactics and Strategies <ul><li>3. Avoiding Political Blunders: a strategy for retaining power is to refrain from making power eroding blunders which can prevent one from attaining power. </li></ul><ul><li>Criticizing the boss in a public forum </li></ul><ul><li>Bypassing the manager </li></ul><ul><li>Overt displays of disloyalty </li></ul><ul><li>Being a pest </li></ul><ul><li>Being or perceived as a poor team player </li></ul><ul><li>Burning your Bridges </li></ul><ul><li>Declining an offer from top management </li></ul>
  25. 25. Political Tactics and Strategies <ul><li>A technique of gaining power can be devious if practiced in the extreme. </li></ul><ul><li>a person who supports a boss by feeding him/her insider information that could affect the price of company stock is being devious. </li></ul><ul><li>Dysfunctional strategies may in the long run erode a leader’s effectiveness by lowering his/her credibility. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Back stabbing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Embrace or demolish </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Setting a person up for failure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Divide and rule </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Playing territorial games. </li></ul></ul>Dysfunctional Political Tactics and Strategies
  26. 26. Exercising Control over Dysfunctional Politics <ul><li>Carried to excess, organizational politics can hurt an organization and its members. </li></ul><ul><li>To much politicking can result in wasted time and effort, thereby lowering productivity. </li></ul><ul><li>Lower commitment </li></ul><ul><li>Lower moral </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of people </li></ul>
  27. 27. Exercising Control over Dysfunctional Politics <ul><li>Leaders must combat political behavior when it is excessive and dysfunctional. </li></ul><ul><li>In a comprehensive strategy to control politics, organizational leaders must be aware of its causes and techniques. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For example; during a downsizing the CEO must be alert of back stabbing and attempts to please him/her. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Open communication can help constrain the impact of political behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding favoritism </li></ul><ul><li>Setting good examples at the top of the organization can help reduce the frequency and tendency of political behavior. </li></ul><ul><li>Politics can also sometimes be constrained by a threat to discuss questionable information in a public forum. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Building Relationships with Superiors <ul><li>Network with Influential People </li></ul><ul><li>Help your Manager Succeed </li></ul><ul><li>Volunteer for Assignments </li></ul><ul><li>Flattery </li></ul><ul><li>Use information Power </li></ul><ul><li>Appear Cool Under Pressure </li></ul><ul><li>Laugh at Boss’ Humor </li></ul><ul><li>Express Constructive Disagreement </li></ul>
  30. 30. Building Relationships with Co-Workers <ul><li>Maintain honest and open relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Make others feel important </li></ul><ul><li>Express interest in others’ work </li></ul><ul><li>Be diplomatic </li></ul><ul><li>Exchange favors </li></ul><ul><li>Ask advice </li></ul><ul><li>Share constructive gossip </li></ul><ul><li>Buddy up with Tech-People </li></ul><ul><li>Follow Group Norms </li></ul>
  31. 31. Practical Tips for Managing Organizational Politics <ul><li>Reduce System Uncertainty </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce Competition </li></ul><ul><li>Break Existing Political Fiefdoms </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent Future Fiefdoms </li></ul>

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