Power and Politics in Organizations

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In organizations there are various powers, conflicts and political intrigues at play. Some of these powers may not appear not amount to something much to the untrained eye but those privy to these power struggles know that they go a long way in shaping the destiny and the future of an organizations. When there is a change of leadership in an organization e.g. in cases where the C.E.O is retiring or moving elsewhere, the successor will want to impose his business philosophy on the organization. He does this by wielding his legitimate authority (that of being C.E.O or the boss). He or she may do this by rewarding those employees who embrace his or her business style and coerce those whom they feel are stubborn to their authority. Coercion will oftentimes involve threats of firing or demotion or promotion stifling against errant employees. Employees who are depended upon for the company to run smoothly (i.e. those who own expert power) may survive the onslaught because the executive officer may not want to jeopardize company operations. This however, may be temporary if the executive officer looks for suitable replacements for the errant expert employees and then forces the incumbent out of the company or into positions less glamourous. In this assignment, I have looked into a case involving a blue chip company in East Africa called Safaricom Ltd and the power struggles between the incumbent C.E.O and top level expert employees.

Safaricom is a blue chip telecommunications firm in East Africa. According to the Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), Safaricom currently has 17 million subscribers in Kenya, commanding a share of more than 70% of the Kenyan mobile market. Its total revenue stood at $ 1 billion in the last financial year ended June, 30 2011. Vodafone has a 40% stake in the company.

Michael Joseph, the man who steered the company from a fledgling entity...
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