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Education Resources

Power and Politics in Organisations – MBA Book

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Power and Politics both are associated with each other. In a firm or in a country power in is in dominating position if the politics is associated with that.

In the chapter of “Power and Politics in Organisation” from this MBA book we can decide some objectives which can be:

About Power

Source of Power

Types of Power

Ethical Use of Power

Analysis of Political behaviour in an organization

Power is a potential ability and influence for a people which direct others people in desired direction to do something.

Now, we discuss about source of power in organizations which is depends upon a manger. In an organization manager use multiple source of power to bring out the best employees for the organization.

Manager use normally two types of power – interpersonal and structural. Interpersonal power includes these elements:

Reward Power

Coercive Power

Legitimate Power

Referent Power

Expert Power

All these associated with maintain power and effectively uses of power. To maintain power for reward point we can find out the need and want of people but when we will want to use effectively “Reward Power” then we will offer desirable rewards.

Same with to maintain coercive power we will identify credible penalties to deter unacceptable behaviour while to use effectively coercive power we will inform target and rules and penalties.

In the Legitimate power to maintain we can will gain more formal authority while to use effectively it we will be polite and send a request.

To maintain “Referent Power” we will show acceptance and positive regards while to use effectively it we will use personal appeals when necessary.

To maintain expert power we will gain more relevant knowledge while to use effectively it we will explain the reasons for a request or proposal.

Using of Power Ethically

Ethical power is logical power in the favour of humanity which comes from manager characters.

There are some processes to use “Ethical Power” in a firm or organization which are:

Reward Power in ethical way should be use by manager as: Verify Compliance, make feasible, reasonable requests etc.

Like this all the sources comes from types of power but should be use them ethically by a manager in any firm.

Structure of Sources of Power

Source of power depends upon mainly three abilities which are: reduce uncertainty, lack of substitutes and centrality of activities.

Uncertainty contains - Resource control, information control, decision-making control, substitutability, centrality and managing the boss.

Now, we should come on political behaviour in Organisation

For the topic there is very good definition from D.Farrell and J.C Petersen, “those activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization.”

Politics always tightly linked with power. In our day to day life we can see politics and power also. So, no one people and place escape with politics and power.

So, there should be some political strategies and influence tactics which may affect the thoughts, behaviour or feelings of another person.

In the political tactics we can include these elements:


Upward Appeals




Rational Persuasion

Inspirational Appeals


About the types of politics when we inter we know about Maccoby’s Political thought which is divided into four parts. These are:

The Craftsman

The Jungle Fighter

Company Man or Women

The Gamesman

Using of Power and Politics as a Manager

As a manager we should care something when we use politics and power. These can be:

Effective use of power

Power should be use in Ethical way

We should understand all types and power and should use them very effectively

Should be develop power skills also

In the summery of Power and Politics in Organisation chapter we can say power refers to the potential ability to influence others in a desired direction.


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