Power and Politics Paper Power and Politics are necessary influences in most organizations today. Power is not a necessary evil and is most often contained within the position of authority. Politics is a little harder to describe. People often see it when an individual is attempting to influence a decision or position within an organization without a formal role or authority. In this paper I will analyze an organizational management and leadership practices that impact organizations.
I will also provide a couple real-world examples of the relationships between power and politics and how this relates to management and leadership practices. Organizational Power Power in an organization 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 to (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Some power is derived from the position of leadership and the exercise of power over an individual or group to perform a task or job in a certain way.
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An example would be the chief executive officer of an organization to exercise power over others within the organization. A lower level of power would be where a supervisor exercises power over their subordinates. The amount of power is mostly relative to the formal authority in the organization. Organizational Politics Politics is different from power in that it is normally not derived from authority but from the ability to persuade others to perform or act in a way that corresponds to your best interests.
Political behavior is someone attempts to sway an opinion, influence a decision or gain an advantage normally outside of that person’s control. Sometimes power and politics are similar when the person with the power is also attempting to gain approval for an unpopular decision and get team members on board. Politicking is done at after hour activities, social gathering and company meetings and different events in which the individual can speak unofficially and network with individuals. Examples of Power and Politics
My example of politics in leadership and management comes from when I was working as a remote recruiter for RX Pro Health, base out of Denver, Colorado. The organization was opening a temporary location in Overland Park, Kansas to recruit pharmacists and technicians for a national mail-order pharmacy. We had quarterly training meetings and other unofficial gatherings in Denver prior to opening a new location in Kansas. The chief executive officer was looking for an individual willing to relocate temporarily to the Kansas area for the length of the contract.
The individual selected as the new regional manager for the area could meet on several occasions with the chief executive officer, chief technical officer and vice president of operations and was offered the assignment to run the new location. He was swayed leadership to select him for the opportunity. An example of power and politics in an organization would be Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. Jerry Jones has legitimate power over the Dallas Cowboys and it is mostly absolute. Jerry is the owner and general manager and makes the majority of the decisions affecting the Dallas Cowboys.
Jerry embarked on a vision to build a new stadium in Arlington, TX costing over $1. 5 billion dollars. When originally announced by franchise owner Jerry Jones in 2004, the plans for a new stadium for the National Football League’s (NFL) Dallas Cowboys carried a price tag of $650 million dollars. The financing sources included: $325 million dollars to be generated by sales tax increases in Arlington, TX; a $76 million dollar loan from the NFL; and funds raised by the Dallas Cowboys through the now imploded auction-rate securities market (Schaeder, 2008).
Jerry could exercise both political and organization power over many individuals and some communities to get the task accomplished. Conclusion As I mentioned earlier in this paper, power and politics in organization are not always negative. In some instances both are necessary and helpful to organizations, teams, and groups. I covered a couple examples of politics being used in organization and an example of both power and politics being used by Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys. Both power and politics are unique and sometimes used simultaneously in guiding and fostering a competitive environment in organizations.