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WEEK 4 DQ 7 - Assignment Example

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This ability has greatly influenced the success and failures of businesses and nations. The readings have provided a good learning experience in…
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Power And Politics Your Full Power is a very strong word and has molded all sorts of organizations, including the political aspect of the community. This ability has greatly influenced the success and failures of businesses and nations. The readings have provided a good learning experience in understanding the meaning of power and its influence on political behavior.
Forms of Power
Researchers John French and Bertram Raven have identified formal power and personal power as the two major forms of power. Formal power usually puts a person in control over others because of the position in an organization, and the ability to give credit or reward, or punishment to other individuals in the organization or community. Legitimate, coercive and reward as forms of formal power. Personal power deals more with what other individuals see and regard of someone they respect or like, thus giving someone the ability to influence. Expert, information and referent power have been classified as personal power.
An example of an unethical use of power was when I was instructed by my superior to perform a task that was supposed to be his. In this case, my superior exercised his formal power, and was able to influence me to do the work for him. My superior unethically used legitimate power over me, emphasizing that I should be the one following the orders. Such scenarios I believe are common in many organizations where the people in authority tend to abuse the power accompanied in the positions they fill in.
Political Behavior
Political behaviors are actions with which an individual or a group of individuals make to be able to influence others in the organization to get the result they want. The three dimensions of political behavior are: upward influence, downward influence and peer influence. Upward influence refers to the capability of the people at the lower level of the organization to influence the decisions of the people with authority in the organization. Downward influence is the capacity of a superior to influence those under his or her department, such as general managers influencing department managers and their subordinates. Peer influence is the most common and this usually occurs with people who are in the same level of the organization. In laymans term, this may also be seen as peer pressure. However, this kind of influence may be destructive if there is no common goal among the people involved.
Individual and organizational antecedents greatly influence political behavior. Political skill, investment in organization, internal locus control and expectations of success are the individual influences. Those with political skill believe that they can make a difference through inspiring and influencing people. Organizational influences involve shortage of resources, evaluation of performance, promotion, role ambiguity and decision making. Organizations with limited resources and ambiguous roles, usually become a political organization because people tend to influence one another for the sake of keeping their jobs or getting more incentives, especially during periods of promotion and performance evaluation.
The positive politics in my workplace is that the managers have a common goal and relay these goals directly to their subordinates. Further, departments harmoniously work together and minimize any miscommunications to be able to reach the companys objectives. However, the negative politics existing in my workplace, is the influence of personal issues between friends to their work performance. There are circumstances where colleagues become emotional and fail to properly do the tasks assigned to them.
Organizations and governments involve power, influence and political behavior. When seen as a good tool, power and influence will provide success not only for the individual but also the people being influenced. The ability to lead is a matter of having both formal and personal power to be able to gain the commitment of the people in the organization to work towards a common goal. In any organization, there must always be a balance of power and influence and people with power must always recognize that their leadership will only be of essence if there is commitment from all the people in the organization.
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