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Discussion Topic #4 Prompts

Prompt #1: What did you learn about organizations, and/or the behavior of
individuals within an organization? How do the ideas presented in Part Four (the
Political Frame) of the B&D textbook enrich your understanding of the ways in
which organizations and the people working in them function?
Organizations create the feel of political parties based on the fact that there are several
individuals and or groups closely involved with each other. As we discussed in previous
discussions, tam diversity is a strength in which groups thrive on. Being able to look at
thing from different angles or prospective can give a group a leg up. With that said,
Agreement and harmony are easier to achieve when everyone shares similar values,
beliefs, and cultural ways (Bolman & Deal, 2103, pg.190).
We begin to see how groups or clicks form within organizations. There are often small
groups within organizations that make most of the decisions. Goals and decisions
emerge from bargaining, negotiation, and jockeying for position among competing
stakeholders (Bolman & Deal, 2103, pg.190). The political view also reminds us of the
idea that its not what you know, its who you know. Conflict arises when issues such as
the allocation of scarce resources may make certain stakeholders feel as if they are
being punished for not being in the right group. This in turn places the decision makers
in a tight spot. Regardless of the decision that is made, there will not be a 100% all
around consensus on the decision.

Prompt #2: How can you apply the concepts that you have learned about in the
readings to your personal or organizational life? Be specific.
Decisions must be made with the organizations best interest in mind. I work for a large
department which is incredibly diverse. When I first started on this department, I was
told that many things were very political. I soon realized that in order to move up in the
organization quickly, I would need to network and get to know key people. Coalition
member have enduring differences (Bolman & Deal, 2103, pg.189).This tells me that in
my professional life, our differences may cause me to have to accept viewpoints that are
different from mine.
As a stakeholder, I would need to use information and expertise as a source of power.
With my organization being so big, I need to find a way to stand out from the rest. In
showing that I am knowledgeable in my particular field of work, I can set myself up to
promote quicker. Since returning to school, I have not made mention of promotion. As
graduation closes in, I have begun testing for promotional positions. In order to promote
we are required to pass written and situational exams.

Prompt #3: Compare how structural theorist, human resource, and political
frame theorists view power.
Structural theorists see power as being inherent. There is a from top-down
structure to an organization. An example could include a shift manager and their
team. The manager has the inherent power based on the top-down structure. In
the human resources frame, power is shared between the organization and the
constituent. The reasoning is not as simple though. An organization cannot thrive

if its constituents do not work hard. Without the constituent, the organization fails.
Without the organization, the constituents have nothing. In the political frame,
Authority is essential to anyone in a formal position ( Bolman & Deal, 2103,
pg.196).The source of power may reside with those who have the expertise and

Prompt #4: What are the four strategies of principled bargaining? Come up with
an example of a bargaining situation in which you were involved (or that you are
familiar with). Connect the use (or failure to use) each of the strategies within the
context of your example.
(1) Separate people from the problem. (2) Focus on interests, not positions. (3) Invent
options for mutual gain instead of locking in on the first alternative that comes to mind.
(4) Insist on objective criteria-standards of fairness for both substance and procedure.
The third strategy insists that we invent options for mutual gain. My friends and I love
going to Las Vegas. Being from SoCal, Las Vegas is within a few hours drive or a short
flight away. On one particular trip, we made plans to head to Las Vegas for a weekend.
Based on work schedules, one of our friends would need to leave work early to catch
the last flight out and flying out the following morning was a waste of time. Another friend
had to be back at work late Sunday night. This would have caused us to have to drive
back earlier in the day and loose much of Sunday. Round trip driving or round trip flying
was out of the question. We opted to door number 3. We rented a car Friday morning.
We drove to Las Vegas and made it there by 1am Saturday. We then did a one-way
rental and flew back late Sunday night. Everyone was happy and we all got to do
everything we wanted.

Prompt #5: Throughout your progression in the Organizational Leadership

program, you have had a number of courses that include content complementary
to the political frame. Please highlight what you would consider to be two of the
most important things (ideas, concepts, theories, models, processes, skills, etc.)
that you have learned in previous coursework that you can relate to the Political
frame. Briefly discuss each key learning, the course where you learned it, and its
connection with the Political Frame.
Group diversity is essential to completing tasks. The biggest problem with this is that
with diversity comes disagreement. If you have people who are unwilling to accept the
ideas of others, you will not be able to come to an agreement. There are those who
believe that if they are not the ones to solve a problem, they will lose power over others
on the teams. The second idea is that you want to surround yourself with the right
people. This can be how coalitions are formed. We have to realize that not everyone can
help you. There may be a team of analysis who can supply your group with data that
you need for your given project. E may be in a position to reward such a group which
can lead to the look of favoritism. It was unintentional however, a necessity.

Frame or Reframe an Organization from a Political Perspective

Prompt #6: How does politics work in an organization, group, or team with
which you are affiliated?

Due to the size of the organization, one can easily be forgotten. This is not a
punishment, just a fact of size and sheer numbers. As I mentioned, there are
many opportunities for one to promote on this department. When you have the
ear of someone higher up, you have an advantage. In order to level the playing
field somewhat, the department has come up with coveted testing. You are
tested on situational and objective awareness. Hence, if you are not in the in
crowd, you can still use the information and expertise power to move up.
Although the power of information and expertise can aid in passing a test, it does
not necessarily mean that you are the best suited for the job. I have come across
several people who are no in supervisory positions merely because that can test
well. This does not mean that they can perform the job duties well.
Prompt #7: How does politics affect outcomes in your place of employment (or
other organization) for, say, customers, employees, colleagues, stockholders,
surrounding community and/or any other stake-holders? How has your
organization or team demonstrated being a political arena and/or political agent?
Describe enough of a situation concretely to provide context and use concepts
from the readings in your response.
Politics creates coalitions. There are many different divisions and bureaus within
my organization. Each of the divisions seeks to gain its own powers over others.
This can be based on information and expertise, or control of rewards. There is a
division that seeks to gain a leg up based on its ability to gain access to
specialized equipment. What brings that division down is their collective poor
attitude towards the organization as a whole. This creates a rift between the
divisions which can sometimes be seen by other stakeholders. Agendas are set
by other divisions which do not conform to the organizations gals as a whole
leaving other divisions with the task of picking up the slack for others.