Presentation on theme: "BA105: Organizational Behavior"— Presentation transcript:
1 BA105: Organizational Behavior Professor Jim LincolnWeek 11: LecturePower, politics, and networks
2 Class agendaToday: discuss power, politics, and networks in organizationsThursday: Donna Dubinsky case
3 Power and politics in organizations Power: a “dirty word?” What is it?The capacity to get people to do what they would not otherwise doHow does power differ from authority?Authority is legitimate power. Three types (Max Weber):CharismaticAuthority that derives from personalistic qualities (vision, force of personality)TraditionalInstitutionalized charismaLegal-rationalThe power of an office based on law or other formal rulesAnd politics?The social relations of interest formation, power-seeking and wielding, and decision-makingKanter-”America’s last dirty word”. See Pfeffer table on executives ambivalence about power.
4 Leadership is power; but not all power is leadership Influencing others with charisma and visionDeveloping committed “followership”Other forms of power:Leveraging the formal organizationExercising authorityDesigning and implementing systemsTrading on scarce skills or resourcesManeuvering, manipulationCoordination/brokerage/conductor/trains run on time/making org work the way it’s supposed to
5 Niccolo Machiavelli"For injuries ought to be done all at one time, so that, being tasted less, they offend less; benefits ought to be given little by little, so that the flavour of them may last longer.""Therefore a wise prince ought to adopt such a course that his citizens will always in every sort and kind of circumstance have need of … him, and then he will always find them faithful. ""Hence it is necessary for a prince wishing to hold his own to know how to do wrong, and to make use of it or not according to necessity. ""We have not seen great things done in our time except by those who have been considered mean; the rest have failed. "“He who is the cause of another becoming powerful is ruined"“One of the most efficacious remedies that a prince can have against conspiracies is not to be hated and despised by the people“No enterprise is more likely to succeed than one concealed from the enemy until it is ripe for execution.’
6 Were there any good organizational politicians in the cases we have examined? Adopt a Socratic leadership styleAttack data and logic, not personsDon’t polarize others in group against youRemain calmDon’t reveal an explicit position that can be attacked – appear neutralSecret ballot scene; referred to fonda as leader earlier. But he was more an org politician (versus charisma and vision).
7 Politics as a form of organizational decision-making Administrative modelGarbage can modelPolitical/bargaining model
8 Classical administrative theory on decision making Managers devise programs (“standard operating procedures”) so that decisions can be made “by the book”Such routine or programmed decisions are delegated down the hierarchy; exceptions are managed by higher-upsHigher level decisions are nonroutine, uncertain, risky, require problem-solving search
9 The garbage can model of decision making (Cohen, March, & Olson) Preferences, criteria, alternatives, decisions, etc., are jumbled together as if dumped into a garbage canMany decisions are stumbled into or forced by past decisionsPreferences/intensions/criteria are afterthoughts or rationalizationsRandom decision may not necessarily be badMay contribute to learningThrowing a lot of stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks
10 The political/bargaining model of decision-making Decisions are made through:Bargaining and negotiationOrderly (open, rule-bound, & mediated) conflict aimed at reaching a solution agreeable to both sidesPower and politicsCan be disorderly (behind the scenes, no rules, unmediated) conflict in which one side prevails over others and thus imposes a solution
11 Game theory Game theory is the general theory of strategic behavior Rational decision-making given uncertainty as to what other players will do The payoff to a strategic decision depends on the other player’s move2
13 Issues in power and politics Politics may not be pretty, but it is real, pervasive, and must be managedMyth of the business organization as efficient, rational, and apoliticalHow to analyze and navigate the political terrainMap out the actors, interests, goals, resource/power bases, strategies, alliances, decision eventsHow to manage power and politicsFrom the organization’s perspectiveContain & channel politics in productive waysFrom the participant’s perspectiveHow to be savvy; a player; on the winning side
14 What kinds of politics are bad? From the organization’s perspectiveProcessesBack-stabbing, rumor-mongoring, vengeance-seeking, sabotage, corruption, secrecy, hoarding, zero-sum gamesOutcomesGoal subversion/suboptimization; factionalism; stalemate & inertia, high cost in time & resources, loss of transparency and accountabilityFrom the participant’s perspectiveUncertainty, anxiety, frustration, stress, isolation, inability to focus on tasks, failure
15 Bob Ebeling Manager of the Rocket Ignition System at Morton-Thiokol “We did our level best, but it wasn’t good enough...The decision to recommend a launch was pre-ordained by others, by NASA leaning on our upper management. The deck was stacked.”“I was so sure that Challenger was doomed that I asked my daughter, Leslie, then 33, to my office to watch a super colossal disaster unfold on live TV...and then I prayed”The fact that he foresaw disaster and could not stop it has torturedhim since.
16 What conditions give rise to organizational politics? Resource scarcity (zero-sum game)Weak leadershipWeak cultureUnclear goalsAbsence of shared values & beliefsLow trustPoor communicationBad structureToo weakLack of authority; insufficient rules; ill-defined rolesToo strongSegmentation & interdependence conflictRigidities can be politically exploitedCrisis, external shocks (e.g., takeover)Ogilvy- takeover led to politics
17 Can organizational politics ever be a positive force? ProcessesEmpowerment, open conflict, positive-sum games, creative turbulence, acceptance of rules of the game, consensus on core values, shifting coalitions and interestsOutcomesFlexibility, adaptiveness, overcome dependency and inertia, root out entrenched interests, abolish unproductive routines, increased efficacy, efficiency
18 Politics as empowerment: Getting things done with and through others The modern flat, lean, horizontal organization power & politicsPower is no longer packaged as authority rolesPeople have a mandate to get power and use itFew bureaucratic impediments to political maneuveringInfluence, brokering, networking, alliance formation
19 Apple’s lack of formal structure networks and politics “Things are done by committees, meetings, consensus. We have very few policies, systems, or controls. What we do is get a team of experts together and make a decision.”--Apple employee in finance“Apple is dominated by personality. We are low on systems, and high on the human side. There are very few formal rules or processes.”--Another Apple employee“Apple is highly relationship and network oriented. If you know the right people you can get things done—there are lots of inner circles. Management by coercion doesn’t work here.. There is a lot of politics—like everywhere-but lack of rules and policies may make it more important here. Most organizations have their smoke-filled rooms; Apple does too. The difference is that here if you want into the argument, you can find your way in.”--Apple HR manager
20 Power and politics as the management of resource dependencies Assumption: power comes from leveraging resources in relationships to reduce dependenceTypes of resourcesauthority, charisma, vision, looks & personality, values, communication skills, expertise, information, demographic attributes, centrality & connectedness, location, legitimacy & reputation, time & effortHow are resources converted into power?Resource criticality, scarcity, uncertainty power
21 Implementing power Determine your interests & goals What resources/power base do you control?How can you expand or fortify it?Analyze/trace your resource dependencies; who do you need to work with and through to achieve your goals?What are their interests and goals?What resources/power bases do they control?Will they support you or oppose you?Are they allied or organized?
22 StrategiesDevise a strategy for exercising power to achieve your goalsAnticipate the opposition’s moves (strategies & tactics) and plan your response
23 Bureaucratic strategies Resist rationalization or pursue rationalizationMake selective use of objective criteriaInvoke outside experts or authoritiesAppeal to an external constituency
24 Manage decision events (e.g., meetings) Control what’s on the agendaControl the order of considerationControl the decision alternatives
25 Monopolistic strategies Claim your resources are criticalRestrict supply
26 Networking Strategies Network widelyWork the hallsGet good at small talk (learn the culture)Cultivate friendshipsBuild coalitionsGet others obligated to youLogroll: “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”Prevent or break up their coalitionsExploit structural holes“My enemy’s enemy is my friend”Divide and conquerCoopt potential opposition
27 A technical definition of a network A population of “nodes” (people, etc.) and the ties (edges, arcs) relating them128M =45367
28 A fragmented (clique-ridden) network Company A154826379121011
29 Networking: The process of managing and expanding one’s personal networks Are you a systematic, self-conscious networker?What do you need to do to become one?Take stock of (map) your existing networkEvaluate its strength and weaknessesWhat new ties will add the most value in expanding/strengthening your network?How can you go about building them?Should you sever some old ones?Can shy people be good networkers?What about IT?
30 Networking strategy: Be central! 928315411U5614121310
31 Networking strategy: Be a broker! (“bow tie” structure)431511U5612“Power of lower participants”
33 Managing networks “up”: Exploit structural holes (My enemy’s enemy is my friend) B-B-+AA-C-C
34 Managing the informal organization: “If the formal organization is the skeleton of a company, the informal is the central nervous system…”Krackhardt’s and Hanson’s network study of a California computer companySimilar to ‘Fireart’ case: Failure of an interdepartmental strategic task force to make headway.Reason: Leader Tom Harris was central in the network of technical advice but peripheral in the trust networkCEO’s solution: find someone central in the trust network– Bill Benson-- to share leadership with Harris
35 Conclusions: Power, politics, & networking For the employee:You can be competent, work hard, do your job, accomplish goals….AND STILL LOSETo people better at organizational politics than youFor the organization:Power, politics, and networks are not all bad and can be goodBut they have to be understood and managed
36 Thursday: Donna Dubinsky case Who were the allies and adversaries in this conflict? What were the reasons for the conflict? What resources did the parties bring to bear? What strategies were used? Who prevailed and why? Does the gender of the protagonists have any relevance here? Why or why not? How might the debate over the distribution system have been better managed? How did Apple’s culture, structure, and the leadership styles of the executive team shape the evolution of the conflict? In terms of the congruence model, was “incongruence” or poor fit among the pieces of Apple’s architecture a cause of the conflict? Was it leveraged or exploited in any way by the players?
37 Donna Dubinsky’s 10 lessons Get your “go-to-hell” money togetherPick your boss wellNegotiate with two or more optionsTreat people with respectDon’t dwell on sunk costsChallenge conventionDon’t fight every battleKnow your competitorsThink globalDon’t overestimate others