Organisational Power and Politics
Two interviews were carried out with staff members of a small cleaning company regarding the views on power and politics within the organisation. Interviews were conducted and aimed at revealing perceived power figures in the organisation and the reason these figures had authority. It was found that unexpectedly almost all questions (one didn’t) related in some way to the boss and not other member of staff whom where senior, junior or new to the company with varying ages. It was found that senior staff felt more able to question authority and have influence in organisational decisions then junior members of staff were.
Organisations are defined by different roles “Each member of a group occupies a position in the group, and each position carries with it a role, usually defined as a set of expectations which indicates how persons holding certain positions should behave” McGrath,1984 cited in Avery.G, Baker.E 1990 p.408). It’s these expectations and roles being changed and manipulated by those in power, which interest this study into power and politics. Organisational power and politics play a key role in organisations interpersonal functioning, and therefore overall productivity and satisfaction of individuals in the work place. Organisational power is “the potential to influence others” (Koslowsky.M, Schwarzwald.J, Ashuri.S 2001 p.455), which is essential for managerial staff responsible for workers under their supervision. Organisation politics is concerned with the reasons people will listen to those in power. Organisational politics as described by Valle.M and Witt.L.A are “Actions that (a) are inconsistent with accepted organisational norms, (b) are designed to promote self-interest, and (c) are taken without regard for, and even at the expense of, organisational goals” (Valle.M, Witt.L.A 2001 p.380). This definition is a broad term for politics and self-promotion in the workplace. We will...