UM 7 Politics & Power

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UM 7 Politics & Power

  1. 1. Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Power & Politics Organization Theory
  2. 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. 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. 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. 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. 6. French & Raven: Bases of Power Coercion Expertise Rewards POWER Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya Referent Legitimacy
  7. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 12. Rosabeth Moss Kanter: Power & Powerlessness To increase power, share it! Bill Adams, FEA, University of Malaya
  13. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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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