Organizational Behavior 10e

Chapter 13: Power and Politics
 Power
The capacity that A has to influence the behavior
of B, so that B acts in accordance with A’s
 The definition implies a potential that need not be
actualized to be effective and a dependency
relationship. Power may exist but not be used. It
is, therefore, a capacity or potential.
Contrasting Leadership and Power
 Leaders achieve goals, and power is a means of
facilitating their achievement
 Leadership involves the goals of the leaders and
followers - Power does not
 Leadership focuses on downward influence
(leader - subordinate) - Power does not
Bases of Power
Bases of Power
Personal Power
Personal Power
Dependency: The Key To Power
 The General Dependency Postulate
– The greater B’s dependency on A, the greater the
power A has over B.
 What Creates Dependency
– Importance of the resource to the organization
– Scarcity of the resource
– Non-substitutability of the resource
Power Tactics:
From Most to Least Popular
Sexual Harassment: Unequal POWER in the
Politics = Power in Action
 Political behavior are those activities that are not required
as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that
influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of
advantages and disadvantages within the organization.
– Legitimate and illegitimate political behaviors are common in
organizations. Politics is a fact of life in organizations!!
 Factors contributing to Political Behavior
– Individual factors (e.g., personality traits, needs)
– Organizational factors (e.g., when organizational resources
decline, resources change, low trust exists, high
performance pressures, and the opportunity of promotion
exists = political behavior is likely)
How do People Respond to Organizational
Decreased job satisfaction, increased anxiety, increased
turnover, and reduced performance
Defensive Actions:
Reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action, blame,
or change
Impression Management
The process by which individuals attempt to control the
impression others form of them. Techniques include
conformity, excuses, apologies, self-promotion, flattery,
favors, and association.
Politics Is in the Eye of the Beholder
Summary and Implications for Managers
 Power is a two-way street
 Few employees relish being powerless in their jobs and
 People respond differently to various power bases.
 Employees working under coercive managers are unlikely to
be committed, and more likely to resist the manager.
 Expert power is the most strongly and consistently related
to effective employee performance.
 The power of the boss may also play a role in determining
your job satisfaction.
 The effective manager accepts the political nature of
 Regardless of level in the organization, some people are
more politically "astute" than others.
 The politically naive and inept tend to feel continually