Power vs. Politics

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Power and Politics
Power and politics are noticeable in everyday life whether it is at work, school, television, or even children’s sports team. There is always somebody with either self imposed or justified power making decisions and practicing a form of politics. The basis for power and politics is ‘the degree of interconnectedness among individuals” (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008, pg. 1). This means that as individuals work towards achieving their own goals they must also consider the interests of others. This paper will briefly describe the essence power and politics and different managerial strategies utilizing power and politics. Power and Politics

In Organizational Behavior, power is defined as the ability for one person to get another person to do something the first person wants done or the ability to make things happen in the way one wants them to (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). While power is used to make things happen, influence is what a person acquires when using power and it is recognizable through the behavioral response of whomever he or she has influence on. The essence of power is literally the control over the behavior of others and without a direct or indirect connection, behavior cannot be changed (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). In organizational settings, managerial power is derived from the ability one has to combine the many factors of positional and personal power. Positional power includes legitimate power, reward or coercive power, process power, information power, and representative power. Legitimate power is simply the “right to command” one attains by holding a higher position in an organization. Reward or coercive power is when a manager figure uses extrinsic or intrinsic rewards or punishments to gain control of others. Only a couple examples of the six that exist but one can see from the examples that the above powers are justified in one way or another based on the position one holds in the...
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