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Chapter 12

Chapter 12 Organizational Behaviour

5 Pages

Course Code
BUS 2090
Hassan Wafai

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Chapter 12 Individuals, Groups & Organizations Power, Politics & Ethics What is Power? Power: The capacity to influence others who are in a state of dependence  A lot of people don't use all their power  The target of power is dependent on the power holder but that doesn’t mean that a poor relationship exists between the 2  Power can flow from any direction in the org The Bases of Individual Power Legitimate power Legitimate Power: Power derived from a person’s position or job in an org.  It says who is formally permitted to influence whom and is often called authority  Members usually at higher levels have higher authority  When legitimate power works it does so b/c people have been socialized to accept its influence Reward power Reward Power: Power derived from the ability to provide positive outcomes & prevent negative outcomes  Managers are given chance to recommend raises or do performance evaluations and assign preferred tasks to employees Coercive power Coercive Power: power derived from the use of punishment and threat  Isn’t perfectly correlated w/ legitimate power Referent Power Referent Power: Power derived from being well liked by others  We are prone to consider points of view, ignore failures, seek approval and use them as role models  It stems from identification w/ the power holder – and therefore represents a truer or deeper base of power than reward or coercion which may stimulate more compliance to achieve rewards or avid punishment  Anyone in the org. may be well liked so is available to anyone at any level of the org. Expert Power Expert Power: Power derived form having special info or expertise that is valued by an org.  We tend to influenced by those who perform jobs well  The more critical or unusual this expertise, the greater is the expert power available How Do People Obtain Power? Doing the Right Things Extraordinary Activities: Excellent performance of a routine job might not be enough so going above & beyond in activities, tasking risks etc. Visible Activities  Extraordinary activities will fail to generate power if no one knows about them Relevant Activities  Extraordinary work will fail if no one cares  If nobody sees the work as relevant to the solution of important organizational problems, it wont add to one’s influence Cultivating the Right People Outsiders  Establishing good relationships w/ key people outside one’s organization can lead to increased power within the org.  Org. members who are on boards of directors of other companies might acquire critical info about business conditions that they can use in their own firms Subordinates  A person can gain influence if she is closely identified with certain up & coming subordinates (“I taught her everything she knows”  Could be chance that subordinate will be your boss one day  Cultivating subordinate interests can also provide power when a manager can demonstrate that he/she is backed by a cohesive team Peers  Cultivating good relationships w peers is mainly a means of ensuring that nothing gets in the way of one’s future acquisition of power  Doesn’t want to get stabbed in the back” for a past misdeed Superiors  Liaisons w/ key superiors probably represent the best way of obtaining power through cultivating others  Superiors can often be mentors or sponsors  Can introduce you to the right people Empowerment – Putting Power Where It Is Needed Empowerment: Giving people the authority, opportunity & motivation to take initiative & solve organizational Problems  Opportunities means freedom from barriers & other system problems that block initiative  Authority usually means legitimate power to solve problems  The motivation part of empowerment suggests hiring people that will be intrinsically motivated by power and opportunity of aligning extrinsic rewards w/ successful performance  People who are empowered have strong self-efficacy, the feeling they are capable of doing their jobs well and “making things happen” Influence Tactics – Putting Power to Work Influence Tactics: Tactics sued to convert power into actual influence over others Behaviours power holders use to affect others… Assertiveness – ordering, nagging, setting deadlines, and verbally confronting Ingratiation –using flattery, friendliness, politeness, humble etc. Rationality – using logic, reason, planning & compromise Exchange – doing favors or offering trade Upward Appeal – making formal or informal appeals to org. superiors for intervention Collation Formation – seeking united support from other org. members  Your bases for power might determine what tactics you use  Dependent on whom you are and whom your trying to influence  A particularly ineffective style is “shotgun: where focus on all tactics is high Who Wants Power?  People who are high in McClelland’s N Pow in “pure” form conform to the negative stereotype of power being a manifestation of evil – they are rude, sexually exploitative, abuse alcohol, and show great concern w/ status symbol  When n Pow is controlled & responsible, negative properties aren’t observed  McClelland says the most effective managers  Have high n Pow  Use their powers to achieve e organizational goals  Adopt participative or “coaching” leadership style  Are relatively unconcerned w/ how much others like them  McClelland calls such managers institutional managers b/c they sue their power for the good of the institution rather than for self-aggrandizement  They refrain from coercive leadership but don't ply favorites, since they are worried about being well liked  Good at giving subordinates a sense of responsibility, clarifying org. goals, and instilling team spirit Controlling Strategic Contingencies – How Subunits Obtain Power Subunit Power: The degree of power held behaviour organizational subunits such as departments  Could refer to particular jobs such as those held by software engineers or environmental lawyers Strategic Contingencies: Critical factors affecting organizational effectiveness that are controlled by a key subunit  The work other subunits perform is contingent on the activities and performance of a key subunit  Dependence is critical Scarcity  Differences in subunit power are likely to be magnified when resources become scarce  When there lots of budget money for office space or support staff for all subunits, they will seldom waste their energies jockeying for power  If cutbacks occur, differences I power become apparent  Subunits tend to gain power when they are able to secure scarce resources that are important to the organization as a whole Uncertainty  Organizations hate the unknown  The basic sources of uncertainty mainly exist in the org. environment (government policies might change, sources of supply & demand may dry up etc.)  The subunits that are most capable of coping w/ uncertainty will tend to acquire power  Changes in the sources of uncertainty frequently lead to shifts in subunit power Centrality  Subunits whose activities are more central to the work flow of the org. Should acquire more power than those whose activities are more peripheral Can be central by… 1. Influences the work of most other subunits (Eg Finance
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