The Importance of Power and Politics in Organisation Decision-Making

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The importance of power and politics in organisation decision-making

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Paper title and number: Organisational Management 152-700

Contents 1. Introduction 3 2. Discussion 3 2.1. Power and politics in decision-making 3 2.2. The distribution of power within organisation 4 2.3. Politics in an organisational setting 5 2.4. The challenges of politics in an organisation 6 2.5. Ethical concerns 7 2.6. Overcoming the dangers of politics 7 3. Conclusions 8 4. Recommendations 9 References 11

1. Introduction 2.1.1. The purpose of this report is to provide the theoretical framework that will underpin training workshops for managers. The report will also outline the organisational objectives of these workshops and identify key texts for the continued development of managers. 2.1.2. Accordingly, this report examines a broad range of literature and outlines key concepts about the relationship between power, politics and decision-making in an organisational setting. This analysis suggests that power is a essential aspect the decision making. In turn, politics is shown to be a necessary process for the management of power in organisations, albeit one that gives rise to ethical concerns. 2. Discussion 3.1. Power and politics in decision-making 3.2.3. Finkelstein (1992), Hickson et al (1971), and Pfeffer (1981) define power as the capacity of individual actors to exert their will. The advantage of this concept is that it recognises that power exists in many contexts, and can be exercised in various settings. As noted by Cavanagh et al (1981) ‘Power is a vital and ubiquitous reality in organizational life’. 3.2.4. Mintzberg et al (1976) builds on this concept by defining power, within the context of organisational decision-making, as the ability to influence ambiguous situations. Essentially, all situations that require a decision to be



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