Power And Politics In Organisations

In every business power and politics will be used by its members for many and different reasons, either for their personal benefit or for the benefit of their business. If you want to succeed as a business owner and grow your business, being able to control power and politics in your business is a necessity for the survival of your business. To do that, you need to know why power and politics exists in organizations, why they are needed by managers and how to use them.

How Power and Politics exists

When involved in managerial work, you will certainly be involved in power and politics. People that use politics are able to influence other people and end up taking a greater share of the rewards made available. This exists both in the business world and our everyday life. Such people end up taking a greater share of the rewards simply because goods and services are scarce. We all have similar needs but few resources exist to satisfy everyone. For example, you want music in the office but i don’t, both parties cannot have what they want and only the most powerful will get what he/she needs.

Each member of a business will either pursue rewards for himself or the department he belong to. Thus, a certain level of competition will exist in any organization and the members will use politics to get what they want. Those that use politics the best will usually have the higher power too. Thus, the ability to cope with politics when managing to manage is required.

Humans, are strategic animals, they have to cooperate and compete with others at the same time, both at work and outside it, in order to gain material and intangible rewards. This system creates an automatic control mechanism and a reward ladder at the same time. For example, new workers hired by a firm, have to work together in order to complete projects that can be accomplished only in groups, and at the same time each one is a competitor to each other because not everyone will be promoted or stay with the firm.

Why They Are Needed By Managers.

All businesses, small and big, will involve a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty. This makes it impossible for anyone to have the full facts of a situation, understand what is going on at any given time or predict the outcome of any action taken. Managers depend on others and are required to use power and politics to influence and manipulate others central to their work so that an outcome they need can be achieved. It is hard for just one man/woman to undertake all the operations of the business. Depending on others, through direct orders, is not as effective because people feel pushed to do their work. Having people work because they actually want to and enjoy their work is much more productive and effective. Managers should also engage in micro politics to make sure that employees have a balanced competition and co-operation with each other, in order for productive and cooperative work to be achieved.

People, who are responsible and valuable in decreasing uncertainties in a business, will be well placed the next time a promotion comes up or a smart new office becomes available. Senior managers will listen to them and their influence and their likely further succeeding in micro political activity will be enhanced when dealing with a strategic uncertainty. They are well placed for achieving such successes, advance their power, and gain further rewards in the future. On the other hand, uncertainties change all the time, thus, people responsible for them change too and so does their place in the business. Also, such people may be replaced by other people who are equally able to handle uncertain situations. As a result, individuals currently in power may not continue to be in the future.

For this reason, People will not pursue power just for obtaining immediate resources like money, status and general ‘comforts of life’ but also to put themselves in a position whereby they will be able to obtain whatever they want in the future. To have power is the potential to do better in the future.

Methods Or Tactics For Micro Political Success:

Doing deals and making exchanges – Strategic exchanges, minor or major that play a part in advancing your career or life strategy.

Seeking patron – Establishing relationships with more powerful people.

Making alliances – Team up with selected colleagues.

Conspiring – Exploit certain positions you may have.

Mobilizing groups and assuming informal leadership roles.

Making strategic retreats – Taking a step backwards if identifying an immediate advantage potentially comprising long term success.

Using charm and skills of persuasion – Efforts to repair relationships.

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