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Common Sense Notions of Political Action and Power - Essay Example

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Briefly outline ‘common sense’ notions of political action and power. Discuss how Social Constructionist/Relational Theory challenges the assumption that political action is a problem that interferes with the normal running of an organization. To understand the “common sense” notions of political action and power we must first define what exactly we mean when we use the term political action…
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Common Sense Notions of Political Action and Power
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Download file to see previous pages g whether it be on certain issues or the election of a representative, starting a petition on a certain issue, sending a message through social media, or participating in a committee. Therefore, taking these definitions and examples into account it would be safe for us to assume that there are two groups of people involved in the political action process. The first group is the one that is seeking to send out a message and the second group is the one who will receive the message. In fact, according to Micheal Kaulbars (2009), a trained research biologist who is very active on environmental and social justice issues, the standard model of political struggle includes two groups; the activists and the target. In this model he describes the activists as the group of people who use protests, petitions, hunger strikes, and other forms of campaigning techniques to directly influence their target’s behavior. The target in response to these actions creates counter groups and media campaigns to influence the activist’s behavior. Kaulbars (2009) criticizes this model of political action as being ‘too’ simplified. In fact, this standard model is a perfect description of the “common sense” notions surrounding political action. According to him, this model is unsuccessful at explaining political action because the activists described rarely have enough power to make a difference. Hence, now that we know a little more about political action we must analyze what part it may play in the running of an organization? In fact in order to understand an organization we must look at it as a political system (Management Consulting Courses, n.d). To elaborate on this further we must redefine politics in relation to an organization. In an organization, politics are a means to recognize and reconcile conflicting interests between individuals. This makes sense as organizations; especially large ones are made up of a number of very diverse individuals which will no doubt translate into diversity in interests and agendas. Hence, it is safe to say that organizations create an environment that is perfect for political action. In fact, according to Ammeter et al., (2002), there are three basic levels of political action in organizations; individual, coalition and network. At the individual level leaders try to influence individuals in the organization through one-on-one relationships. Furthermore, at the coalition level, coalitions are formed by leaders through convincing peers, subordinates and other members in the organization to join a force in order to pursue common interests. Lastly, in the network level, individuals and groups are tied together into an interconnected system. Therefore, we may look at the networking level as a result of the individual and the coalition level. First individuals are influenced which leads to the formation of groups eventually leading to the formation of a network. To elaborate further on political action ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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