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Organizational Behaviour

Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP


Chapter 7
Power and Politics
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Power
A capacity to influence the behaviour of others
It is a potential that need not be actually used
It is also a function of dependency. If a person is
dependent on another, then the other has power over the
first
Leaders use their power as a means to achieve a goal
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
5 Sources of Power
Coercive Power probably the most primitive source of
power, but most often used, and most difficult to control.
It is a power that is dependent on fear
Reward Power the opposite of Coercive Power
People comply with the wishes of another because it produces
positive benefits
Reward can be offered in the form of financial, but also friendship,
praise and acceptance (Maslows third level need)
Legitimate Power the power a person possesses as a
result of their position in the organization
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
5 Sources of Power
Expert Power power possessed because of a specific
knowledge, skill, expertise or experience an individual has
As the world has become more technical, this power source has
grown
Referent power Power resulting to a person because of
desirable characteristics or resources
It develops out of admiration for the power holder
Celebrities endoursing a product in commercials are a prime
example of leveraging this source of power

Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
About the 5 Sources of Power
Of course, power is only given to the extent that the level
of dependence is present
Individuals seek to minimize dependence by expanding their
options (businesses source multiple suppliers and customers,
individuals seek education to widen their attractiveness to
prospective employers)
The least effective sources of power are Coercive,
Legitimate and Reward
Effective leaders leverage referent power and expert
power.
These are more personal forms of power achieved through
interrelations with others

Q: Which of these sources do you possess?
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
7 Ways to Increase Your Power
Be reasonable use facts and data to build a position then
reason from it
Be friendly Create goodwill and good relations
Build coalitions Get the support of others who possess a
similar view point
Bargain Negotiate for the exchange of benefits (to
minimize dependency)
Be assertive A little more directly forceful
Seek higher authority support provides leverage
Leverage sanctions use organizationally derived rewards
or punishments and the threat of them to cause action
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Empowerment
Empowerment is the ability and freedom of employees to make
decisions and commitments
To some degree, boundaries are set around where employees can make
decisions, and empowerment seeks to expand them
Empowered employees exhibit 4 characteristics
Self-determination free to choose their work
Sense of meaning feel their work is important
Sense of competence confident in their ability to do the work
Sense of impact believe they can influence their work unit, team or
organization
Empowerment benefits management because
it reduces management work load
Places decision making power in the hands of those often better equipped
to make decisions
Provides significant motivation and learning opportunities for employees
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Empowerment
Empowerment increases as employees or teams are given
more power over their job context (reason for the job) and
job content (tasks)
Empowered employees are expected to act as owners of
the business
Levels of Empowerment
No discretion (usually for routine, low skilled jobs)
Task setting employee can determine how the job gets done
Participatory some decision making power over job
context/content
Mission defining groups set broad goals for a project
Self-management Total decision making power

Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Coalitions
A coalition is an informal group bound together by the
active pursuit of a single issue
Successful coalitions contain fluid membership and act
swiftly to achieve their goals
Coalitions will seek to maximize their size and are more
likely to be created when there is a resource shortage or
dependence
Coalitions tend to be created when tasks are routine as well
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Abuse of Power
Harassment the abuse of a power position
Great examples of abuse of power are in the recent Nortel,
Enron and WorldCom cases.
Executives abused their ability to affect perceived organizational
performance through the use of financial reporting tools
Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome behaviour of
a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the
work environment or leads to adverse job related
consequences for employees
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Politics
Politics is present when employees convert their power
into action
Political behaviour is that activity that attempt to influence
the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within an
organization
It becomes most notable when it is outside the actors
direct job responsibility

Q: How political is your place of work? Why?

Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Why do politics exist?
Organizations are made up of people with differing values,
goals and interests
Resources are limited which causes action to resolve the
shortage resulting in conflict
Facts used to allocate resources are open to interpretation.
Tainting the facts, or concentrating on those facts that support an
individuals needs is possible in a world where there is always
ambiguity
An example of limited resources are promotions (assuming there is
limited opportunities for promotion)
The less trust there is in an organization, the more politics
Unclear performance evaluations promote politics
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP
Rules for Politics
Fast Company Magazines Rules for Politics:
Nobody wins unless everybody wins (well discuss why next
chapter)
Dont just ask for opinions, change them
Everybody expects to be paid back
Success can create opposition (what goes around comes around)


Chapter 8
Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP

Organizational Behaviour
Dave Ludwick, P.Eng, MBA, PMP