Organizational politics involves managers trying to increase their power in the organization. Political strategies are the tactics that managers use to increase their power and to use it.
1. The importance of organizational politics – these activities can be a positive force within the organization.
Political strategies for gaining and maintaining power
1. Controlling uncertainty – managers who can control or reduce uncertainty will have more power.
2. Making oneself irreplaceable – managers gain power when they have knowledge and expertise that no one else has.
3. Being in a central position – these manages control crucial organizational activities.
4. Generating resources – managers that can increase needed resources will have more power.
5. Building alliances – these managers build successful working relationships with people both within and outside of their organization.
Political strategies for exercising power
1. Relying on objective information – objective information can help to overcome opposition.
2. Bringing in an outside expert – an outside person who is an “expert” can lend credibility to a manager’s proposals.
3. Controlling the agenda – influencing which alternatives are considered, and whether or not a decision needs to be made.
4. Making everyone a winner – managers make sure that everyone who supports them personally will gain from offering that support.
How can organizational politics be used by leaders in a positive way?
Jones, G. R., George, J. M., and Hill, C. W.L. (2006). Contemporary management. 4th Ed. Boston: Irwin. ISBN: 0073049212.