CHAPTER 9- INFLUENCE, POWER & POLITICS
Organizational Influence Tactics
A large measure of interpersonal interaction involves attempts to influence others, including parents, bosses, coworkers, spouses, children, teachers, friends and customers. According to noted management author Gary Hamel: ‘Influence is like water, always flowing somewhere”. All of us need to sharpen our influence skills. A good starting point is familiarity with the following research insight.
Nine Generic Influence Tactics.
The nine generic influence tactics can be divided into 2 types. There are Soft influence Tactics and Hard Influence Tactics. The explanation of both types as below:
1. Rational persuasion. Trying to convince someone with reason, logic or facts.
2. Inspirational appeals. Trying to build enthusiasm by appealing to other’s emotional, ideals or values.
3. Consultation. Getting others to participate in planning, making decisions and changes.
4. Integration. Getting someone in a good mood prior to making a request: being friendly, helpful and using praise or flattery.
5. Personal appeals. Referring to friendship and loyalty when making a request.
6. Exchange. Making express or implied promises and trading favors.
7. Coalition tactics. Getting others to support your effort to persuade someone.
8. Pressure. Demanding compliance or suing intimidation or threats.
9. Legitimating tactics. Basing a request on one’s authority or right, organizational rules or policies or express or implied support from superiors.
Some call the first five influence tactics as SOFT tactics because they are friendlier than and not as coercive as the last four tactics. The last four tactics are called HARD tactics because they involve more overt pressure.
Three Possible Influence Outcomes
|COMMITMENT- A strong positive response |The person carry out the request because they truly believes it | | |is the right or best thing to do | |COMPLIANCE- -Completion of request |The person will agree only because there is something positive in| | |it for him/her or something negative will happen if they don’t | |RESISTANCE- A strong negative response |Request will be disregarded, influence attempt is unsuccessful |
The term power evokes mixed and often passionate reactions. Citing recent instances of government corruption and corporate misconduct, many observers view power as a sinister force. To these skeptics, Lord Acton’s time-honored statement that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. However, whether we like it or not, power is a fact of life in modern organizations.
Thus, power is necessary and generally positive force in organizations. As the term is used here, social power is defined as “the ability to marshal the human, informational, and material resources to get something done”.
Dimensions of Power
While power may be an elusive concept to the casual observer, social scientists view power as having reasonably clear dimensions. Two dimensions of power that deserve our attention are (1) socialized versus personalized power and (2) the five bases power.
Socialized power can be defined as directed at helping others and, personalized power is directed at helping oneself. Managers and others who pursue personalized power for their own selfish ends give power a bad name. A popular classification scheme for social power traces back 50 years to the work of John French and Betram Raven. They proposed that power arises from five different bases:...
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