Organizational Culture and Politics

Topics: Organization, Decision making, Organizational studies Pages: 8 (2560 words) Published: February 20, 2009
Organizational Behavior

Organizational Power, Culture, and Politics

Question 1: What power tactics can employees use to translate their power bases into specific actions and how does each one work?

There are nine tactics that an employee can use to translate their power bases into specific actions. The tactics are legitimacy, rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, consultation, exchange, personal appeals, ingratiation, pressure, and coalitions. The first tactic, legitimacy is when an employee relies on their position or stresses organizational policies. An example would be an employee in accounting and finance telling another employee to get an authorization for a travel reimbursement before releasing the funds to them. Rational persuasion is when an employee uses logic and evidence that supports their argument. We often see this when employees try to persuade their superiors. Rational persuasion tends to be a tactic employed more by Western cultures than Eastern ones. Inspirational appeals is when an employee develops an emotional commitment by appealing to the values, needs, hopes, and aspirations of another targeted individual. Consultation is when an employee increases the motivation and support of others by involving them in deciding how the plan or change will be done. Exchange happens when employees reward a target with benefits or favors in exchange for following a request. This is often seen when people do things like cover shifts for one another. When an employee asks for compliance based on friendship or loyalty they are making a personal appeal. Ingratiation is when an employee uses flattery or praise or some other type of friendly behavior before making a request. This is very often happens when an employee asks another employee to do a task they do not want to do themselves or before telling a superior bad news. When an employee turns to pressure they use warnings or repeated demands and threats to get what they want. This is usually not a very effective method and back-fires on the employee as people tend to react poorly to pressure. Sometimes coalitions are employed to get the aid of other employees to persuade a target, or use the support of others as a reason for their target to agree with them. Some tactics turn out to be more effective than others. And there has been specific evidence that says that rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation tend to be the most effective Soft power tends to be more effective than hard power especially when used in combination with other tactics.

Question 2: Outline and discuss the conflict process.

The conflict process is made up of five stages potential opposition or incompatibility, cognition and personalization, intentions, behavior, and outcome. The first stage is potential opposition or incompatibility, which is caused by antecedent, conditions such as communication, structure, and personal variables. These set the stage for conflict. Communication can create noise that leads to misunderstanding. There can also be structural issues that can lead to conflicts between departments or job functions. Personal variables also come into play because personalities vary and not everyone can get along. The second stage is cognition and personalization, where conflict is perceived and felt. This is where the issues are defined which influences the type of outcomes possible. In the third stage, intentions the parties involved attempt to identify the conflict handling-intentions of one another. Depending on how cooperative or assertive the other party is they try to identify the other party’s intentions to handle the conflict by competing collaborating, avoiding, accommodating, or compromising. When we reach the fourth stage, behavior, we see the statements, actions, and reactions of the parties involved. The conflict becomes open and visible and results in...
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