Final Exam notes Chapter 12.docx

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Management (MGH)
Anna Nagy

Power, Politics and Ethics Influence and Dependency Power - Capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence - First, notice that power is the capacity to influence the behavior of others. Power is not always perceived or exercised - Second, the fact that the target of power is dependent on the power holder does not imply that a poor relationship exists between the two. - Third, power can flow in any direction in an organization - Finally, power is a broad concept that applies to both individuals and groups 5 Sources of Power  Legitimate Power - derives from a person’s position or job in the organization. It constitutes the organization’s judgment about who is formally permitted to influence whom and it is often called authority  Reward Power - power holder can exert influence by providing positive outcomes and preventing negative outcomes. Corresponds to positive reinforcement  Coercive Power - power derived from the use of punishment and threat  Referent Power - exists when the power holder is well-liked by others. It potent for two reasons: stems from identification with power holder and anyone in the organization may be well liked  Expert Power - power derived from having special information or expertise that is valued by an organization Ways of Obtaining Power Doing the Right Things  Extraordinary Activities - excellent performance in unusual or non-routing activities  Visible Activities - extraordinary activities will fail to generate power if no one knows about them. People who have interest in power are especially good at identifying visible activities and publicizing them  Relevant Activities - extraordinary, visible work may fail to generate power if no one cares. If nobody sees the work as relevant to the solution of important organizational problems, it will not add to one’s influence. Cultivating the Right People  Outsiders - establishing good relationships with key people outside one’s organization can lead to increased power within the organization  Subordinates - an individual can gain influence if she is closely identified with certain up- and-coming subordinates. Cultivating subordinate interests can also provide power when a manager can demonstrate that he or she is backed by a cohesive team  Peers - Cultivating good relationships with peers is mainly a means of ensuring that nothing gets in the way of one’s future acquisition of power  Superiors - liaisons with key superiors probably represent the best way of obtaining power through cultivating others. Influence tactics - Tactics that are used to convert power into actual influence over others  Assertiveness - ordering, nagging, setting deadlines and verbally confronting  Ingratiation - using flattery and acting friendly, polite or humble  Rationality - using logic, reason, planning and compromise  Exchange - doing favors or offering to trade favours  Upward appeal - making formal or informal appeals to organizational superiors for intervention  Coalition formation - seeking united support from other organizational members Power Contingencies  Subunit power - degree of power held by various organizational subunits, such as departments  Strategic contingencies - critical factors affecting organizational effectiveness that are controlled by a key subunit o Scarcity - difference in subunit power are likely to be magnified when resources become scarce. Subunits tend to acquire power when they are able to secure scarce resources that are important to the organization as a whole o Uncertainty - subunits capable of coping with uncertainty will tend to acquire power. Uncertainty promotes confusion, which permits changes in power priorities as the organizational environment changes o Centrality - subunits whose activities are most central to work flow of the organization should acquire more power than those whose activities are more peripheral. A subunit’s activities can be central in at least three senses. First, it may influence the work of most other subunits. Centrality also exists when a subunit has an especially crucial impact on the quantity or quality of the organization’s key product or service. It is more central when impact is more immediate o Substitutability - a subunit will have relatively little power if others inside or outside the organization can perform its activities. Empowerment Giving people the authority, opportunity and motivation to take initiative and solve organizational problems Organizational Politics The pursuit of self-interest in an organization, whether or not this self-interest corresponds to the organizational goals Dimensions of Organizational Politics I. Sanctioned means/ sanctioned ends - power is used routinely to pursue agreed-on goals. Familiar, accepted means of influence are employed to achieve sanctioned outcomes II. Sanctioned means/ not-sanctioned ends - acceptable means of influence are abused to pursue goals that the organization does not approve of III. Not-sanctioned means/ sanctioned ends - ends that are useful for the organization are pursued through questionable means IV. Not-sanctioned means/ not-sanctioned en
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