Power and Politics

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Have you ever wondered what role politics and power play in organizations? When used effectively they can be compatible in reaching the organizations goals. Power is defined as the ability to get someone to do something you want done or the ability to make things happen in the way you want them. (Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn, Chap. 15). Power is important within organizations because it is the way in which management influences individuals to make things happen. When power and influence combine, most of the time "politics" become involved in some manner which may pose some problems. Organizational politics is best described as management influenced by self-interest through the use of means not necessarily authorized by the organization. Organizational politics have been viewed as an organizations enhancement tool to survive and fulfill goals. Power and Politics, though closely related, share similarities and differences but ultimately work together for the success of an organization.

Types of Power
There are two types of power that influence both individual and organizational behaviors. The first one, known as Position Power is widely used by the managers as a direct result of their position in the organization. There are six bases under position power in which the management uses to effectively motivate their employees. Reward power is probably the most successful in controlling employees. There are several types of rewards a manager can use to motivate success within individuals such as monetary, promotions, and compliments. The opposite, Coercive power can be seen as a punishment power. The management can use this power to demote, transfer, fire or deny raises to their employees. The third power base of Position is legitimate power. This power stems from the level of hierarchy in which the subordinates report directly to the authority over them for decisions. Process Power controls the input and output of...
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