Power, Politics and Leadership POLITICS OF EDUCATION ( MEM 518) Mindanao University of Science and Technology Lecturer: Enrique S. Guevarra , MEd
Learning Objectives After studying these topics and doing the exercises , you should be able to
Recognize the various types of power
Identify tactics used for becoming an empowering leader
Know how to use delegation to support empowerment.
Pinpoint factors contributing to organizational politics.
Describe both ethical and unethical political behaviors.
Explain how a leader can control dysfunctional politics.
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Sources and Types of Power 3 Power, Politics and Leadership
Position Power Personal Power Power Stemming from Ownership Power Stemming from Providing Resources Power Derived from Capitalizing on opportunity. Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems Power Stemming from Being Close to Power 4 Power, Politics and Leadership
Position Power Power is frequently classified according to whether its stems from the organization or the individual 5 Power, Politics and Leadership
Four bases of power : Legitimate Power - the lawful right to make a decision and expect compliance . Reward Power – the authority to give employees rewards for compliance Coercive Power is the power to punish non compliance ; it is based on fear. Information power is power stemming from formal control over the information people need to do their work. 6 Power, Politics and Leadership
Personal Power This power is derived from the person rather than the organization 7 Power, Politics and Leadership
Types of Personal Power Expert power is the ability to influence others through specialized knowledge , skills or abilities. Referent power is the ability to influence others through one’s desirable traits and characteristics Prestige power stems from one’s status and reputation 8 Power, Politics and Leadership
Power Stemming from Ownership Executive leaders accrue power in their capacity as agents acting on behalf of share holders. The strength of ownership power depends on how closely the leader is linked to shareholders and board members. A leader’s ownership is also associated with how much money he or she has invested in the firm. 9 Power, Politics and Leadership
Power stemming from Providing Resources The organization requires a continuing flow of human resources, money, customers and clients , technological inputs and materials to continue to function. 10 Power, Politics and Leadership
Power Derived from Capitalizing on Opportunity Power can be derived from being in the right place and taking the appropriate action. It pays to be “ where the action is”. 11 Power, Politics and Leadership
Power Stemming from Managing Critical Problems The strategic contingency theory of power suggests that units best able to cope with the firm’s critical problems and uncertainties acquire relatively large amounts of power. The Strategic contingency theory concerns the power a person acquires by virtue of centrality. 12 Power, Politics and Leadership
Power Stemming from Being Close to Power The closer a person is to power , the greater power he or she exerts. The higher unit reports in a firm’s hierarchy , the more power it possesses. 13 Power, Politics and Leadership
Tactics for Becoming an Empowering Leader 14 Power, Politics and Leadership
The Nature of Empowerment Empowerment refers to passing decision making authority and responsibility from managers to group members 15 Power, Politics and Leadership
Components of Empowerment ( Gretchen M. Spreitzer) Meaning – the value of work goal , evaluated in relation to a person’s ideals or standards. Competence or self-efficacy is an individual’s belief in his or her capability to perform a particular task well. Self-determination – is an individual’s feeling of having a choice in initiating and regulating actions. Impact is the degree to which the worker can influence strategic, administrative or operating outcomes on the job. Internal commitment takes place when workers are committed to a particular project , person or program, for individual motives. 16 Power, Politics and Leadership
Empowering Practices Foster Initiative and Responsibility Link Work Activities to Organizational Goals Provide Ample Information Allow Group Members to Choose Methods. Encourage Self-leadership Implement Team-based Human Resource Policies Establish Limits to Empowerment Continue to Lead 17 Power, Politics and Leadership
Effective Empowering Practices LEADERSHIP PRACTICES Foster Initiative and Responsibility Link Work Activities to Organizational Goals Provide Ample Information Allow Group Members to Choose Methods. Encourage Self-leadership Implement Team-based Human Resource Policies Establish Limits to Empowerment Continue to Lead EFFECTIVE EMPOWERMENT
Factors contributing to Organizational Politics 19 Power, Politics and Leadership
Organizational politics refers to informal approaches to gain power through means other than merit or luck. Politics are played to achieve power, either directly or indirectly. Power may be achieved By being promoted By receiving a larger budget or other resources By obtaining more resources for one’s group By being exempt from undesirable assignments. Researchers concluded that “ Political skill is an interpersonal style that combines social awareness with the ability to communicate well. ( Ferrez et al 2000) 20 Power, Politics and Leadership
Many writers still regard organizational politics as emphasizing self-interest at the expense of others , engaging in mysterious activities or “ kissing up” “It’s often a question of language. When we won on an issue, we call it leadership. When we lose, we call it politics. Practicing politics simply means increasing your options for effective results ( Labarre 1999) People want power for many different reasons, which is why political behavior is so widespread in organizations. By definition , politics is used to acquire power. 21 Power, Politics and Leadership
Pyramid-Shaped Organization Structure A pyramid concentrates power at the top. Each successive layer on the organization chart has less power than the layer above. 22 Power, Politics and Leadership
Subjective Standards of Performance People often resort to organizational politics because they do not believe that the organization has an objective and fair way of judging their performance and suitability for promotion. “It’s not what you know but who you know” applies to organizations that lack clear-cut standards of performance. 23 Power, Politics and Leadership
Environmental Uncertainty and Turbulence When people operate in an unstable and unpredictable environment , they tend to behave politically. They rely on organizational politics to create a favorable impression because uncertainty makes it difficult to determine what they should really be accomplishing. 24 Power, Politics and Leadership
Emotional Insecurity Some people resort to political maneuvers to ingratiate themselves with superiors because they lack confidence in their talents and skills. 25 Power, Politics and Leadership
Machiavellian Tendencies Some people engage in political behavior because they want to manipulate others, sometimes their own personal advantage. 26 Power, Politics and Leadership
The Organizational Politics Questionnaire Please refer to the the word format 27 Power, Politics and Leadership
Encouraging Admiration from Subordinates Most organizational leaders say they do not encourage kissing up and that they prefer honest feedback from subordinates Managers , as well as other workers, send out subtle signals that they want to be praised, such as smiling after receiving a compliment and frowning when receiving negative feedback. 28 Power, Politics and Leadership
Political Tactics and Strategies 29 Power, Politics and Leadership
Ethical Political Tactics and Strategies Strategies Aimed at Gaining Power Develop power contacts Control Vital information Stay informed. Control lines of communication Bring in outside experts Make a quick showing Remember that everyone expects to be paid back Be the first to accept reasonable changes 30 Power, Politics and Leadership
Ethical Political Tactics and Strategies Strategies and Tactics aimed at Display loyalty Manage your impression Ask satisfied customers to contact your boss. Be courteous, pleasant and positive. Ask advice. Building Relationships Send thank-you notes to large numbers of people. Flatter others sensibly 31 Power, Politics and Leadership
Ethical Political Tactics and Strategies Strategies aimed at Political Blunders Criticizing the boss in a public forum. Bypassing the boss. Declining an offer from top management. Putting your foot in your mouth Not conforming to the company dress code 32 Power, Politics and Leadership
Unethical Political Tactics and Strategies Backstabbing
The ubiquitous back stab requires that you pretend to be nice but all the while plan someone’s demise.
Embrace or Demolish
It suggests that you remove from the premises rivals who suffered past hurts through your efforts ; otherwise the wounded rivals might retaliate at a vulnerable moment.
Setting a Person Up for Failure
The object of a set up is to place a person in a position where he or she will either fail outright or look ineffective
Divide and Rule
The object is to have subordinates fight among themselves , thus yielding the balance of power to another person.
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Unethical Political Tactics and Strategies Playing Territorial Games
Territorial games involve protecting and hoarding resources that give one power , such as information , relationships and decision making authority.
People arte greedy to survive in a corporate world.
Creating and Then Resolving a False Catastrophe
An advanced devious tactic is for a manager to pretend a catastrophe exists and then proceed to rescue others from the catastrophe , thereby appearing to be a superhero. ( Sandberg 2003)
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Exercising Control over Dysfunctional Politics 35 Power, Politics and Leadership
Organizational politics can hurt an organization and its members. Too much politicking can result in wasted time and effort , thereby lowering productivity. A study of 1,730 employees in four organizations investigated how the perception of political behavior was related to certain outcomes. Among the findings were as follows : 36 Power, Politics and Leadership
Perceptions of political behavior taking place in the work group were associated with less commitment to the organization and a stronger turnover intention with less commitment to the organization and a stronger turnover intention Perceptions of political behavior taking place throughout the organization were also associated with less commitment to the organization and a stronger turnover intention ( Maslyn and Fedor 1998) 37 Power, Politics and Leadership
How to control dysfunctional politics? Avoiding favoritism Setting good examples at the top of the organization. Sharing of similar goals among the individuals and the organization Hiring people with integrity 38 Power, Politics and Leadership
SUMMARY Organizational power is derived from Position Power Legitimate Reward Coercive Information Personal Power Expert Reference Power stems from Ownership Control of resources Capitalizing on opportunities Managing critical problems Being close to power 39 Power, Politics and Leadership
SUMMARY Full-pledged empowerment includes Dimensions of meaning Self-determination Competence Impact Internal commitment Actions taken to become an empowering leader Foster initiative and responsibility Link work activities to the goals of the organization Provide ample information Allow group members to choose methods. Encourage self-leadership Implement team-based human resource policies Establish limits to empowerment Continue to lead. 40 Power, Politics and Leadership
SUMMARY To acquire and retain power , a leader must skillfully use organizational politics. Contributing factors include Pyramidal shape of organization Subjective performance standards Environmental uncertainty Emotional insecurity Machiavellianism Encouraging admiration from subordinates Political tactics and strategies Ethical methods Aimed at gaining power Aimed at building relationships Aimed at avoiding political blunders 41 Power, Politics and Leadership
Unethical tactics Embrace or demolish strategy Constitute another category of political behavior 42 Power, Politics and Leadership
Reference Dubrin, A.J. 2007, Leadership : Research Findings , Practice, and Skills Fifth edn, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston.