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Chapter 12: Power and Politics

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Organizational
Behavior, 9/E
Schermerhorn, Hunt, and
Osborn
Prepared by
Michael K. McCuddy
Valparaiso University
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Chapter 12 Study Questions
пѓ� What are power and influence in an
organization?
пѓ� How are power, obedience, and formal
authority intertwined in an organization?
пѓ� What is empowerment?
пѓ� What is organizational politics?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
2
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Power.
– The ability to get someone to do something
you want done.
– The ability to make things happen in the way
you want.
пѓ� Influence.
– Expressed by others’ behavioral response to
your exercise of power.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
3
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
� Position power derives from a person’s position
in the organizational hierarchy.
пѓ� Types of position power.
– Reward power.
– Coercive power.
– Legitimate power.
– Process power.
– Information power.
– Representative power.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
4
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Reward power.
– The extent to which a manager can use extrinsic and
intrinsic rewards to control other people.
пѓ� Coercive power.
– The extent to which a manager can deny desired
rewards and administer punishment to control other
people.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
5
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Legitimate power.
– The extent to which a manager can use subordinates’
internalized values or beliefs that the boss has the
“right of command” to control other people.
пѓ� Process power.
– The control over methods of production and analysis
that a manager has due to being in a position to
influence how inputs are transformed into outputs.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
6
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Information power.
– The access to and/or control of information. .
пѓ� Representative power.
– The formal right conferred by the firm to speak for a
potentially important group composed of individuals
across departments or outside the firm.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
7
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Personal power derives from individual
sources.
пѓ� Types of personal power.
– Expert power.
– Rational persuasion.
– Referent power.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
8
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Expert power.
– The ability to control another person’s behavior
through the possession of knowledge, experience, or
judgment that the other person does not have but
needs.
пѓ� Rational persuasion.
– The ability to control another person’s behavior by
convincing the other person of the desirability of a
goal and a reasonable way of achieving it.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
9
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Referent power.
– The ability to control another’s behavior because the
person wants to identify with the power source.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
10
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
11
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Ways to build position power.
– Demonstrating work unit relevance to
organizational goals and needs.
– Increasing task relevance of one’s own
activities and work unit’s activities.
– Attempting to define tasks so they are difficult
to evaluate.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
12
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Ways to build personal power.
– Building expertise.
• Advanced training and education, participation in
professional associations, and project involvement.
– Learning political savvy.
• Learning ways to negotiate, persuade, and
understand goals and means that others accept.
– Enhancing likeability.
• Pleasant personality characteristics, agreeable
behavior patterns, and attractive personal
appearance.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
13
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Ways that managers increase the visibility
of their job performance.
– Expanding contacts with senior people.
– Making oral presentations of written work.
– Participating in problem-solving task forces.
– Sending out notices of accomplishment.
– Seeking opportunities to increase name
recognition.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
14
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Controlling decision premises.
– Executives attempt to control, or at least
influence, decision premises.
– A decision premise is a basis for defining the
problem and for selecting among alternatives.
– Executives who want to increase their power
will make their goals and needs clear and
bargain effectively.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
15
Study Question 1: What are power
and influence in an organization?
пѓ� Common techniques for exercising
relational influence.
–
–
–
–
–
–
–
Reason.
Friendliness.
Coalition.
Bargaining.
Assertiveness.
Higher authority.
Sanctions.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
16
Study Question 2: How are power, obedience,
and formal authority intertwined in an
organization?
пѓ� Important practical issues in the exercise
of power and formal authority.
– Why should subordinates respond to a
manager’s authority (or “right to
command”)?
– Given that subordinates are willing to obey,
what determines the limits of obedience?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
17
Study Question 2: How are power, obedience,
and formal authority intertwined in an
organization?
пѓ� The Milgram experiments.
– Designed to determine the extent to which people
obey the commands of an authority figure, even if
they believe they are endangering the life of another
person.
– The results indicated that the majority of the
experimental subjects would obey the commands of
the authority figure.
– Basic conclusion was that people tend to comply with
and be obedient to authority.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
18
Study Question 2: How are power, obedience,
and formal authority intertwined in an
organization?
пЃ· For a directive from a superior to be
accepted as authoritative, the subordinate:
– Can and must understand it.
– Must feel mentally and physically capable of
carrying it out.
– Must believe that it is consistent with the
organization’s purpose.
– Must believe that it is consistent with his or
her personal interests.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
19
Study Question 2: How are power, obedience,
and formal authority intertwined in an
organization?
пѓ� Zone of indifference.
– In exchange for certain inducements,
subordinates recognize the authority of the
organization and its managers to direct their
behavior in certain ways.
– A zone of indifference is the range of
authoritative requests to which a subordinate is
willing to respond without subjecting the
directives to critical evaluation or judgment.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
20
Study Question 2: How are power, obedience,
and formal authority intertwined in an
organization?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
21
Study Question 3: What is empowerment?
пѓ� Empowerment.
– The process by which managers help others to
acquire and use the power needed to make
decisions affecting themselves and their work.
– Provides the foundation for self-managing
work teams and other employee involvement
groups.
– Empowerment emphasizes the ability to make
things happen.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
22
Study Question 3: What is empowerment?
пѓ� Changing position power.
– Moving power down the hierarchy alters the
existing pattern of position power.
– Changing this pattern raises the following
important questions:
• Can “empowered” individuals give rewards and
sanctions based on task accomplishment?
• Has their new right to act been legitimized with
formal authority?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
23
Study Question 3: What is empowerment?
пѓ� Expanding the zone of indifference.
– Management needs to recognize the current
zone of indifference and systematically move
to expand it.
– Management should show how empowerment
will benefit people and provide the needed
inducement.
– .
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
24
Study Question 3: What is empowerment?
пѓ� Power as an expanding pie.
– Employees need to be trained to expand their
power and their new influence potential.
– The key is to change from a view stressing
power over others to one emphasizing the use
of power to get things done.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
25
Study Question 3: What is empowerment?
пѓ� Power as an expanding pie.
– Clearer definition of roles and responsibilities
helps managers empower others.
– All mangers need to emphasize different ways
of exercising influence.
– Special support may be needed for individuals
to become comfortable.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
26
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Machiavellian tradition of organizational
politics.
– Emphasizes self-interest and the use of
nonsanctioned means.
– Organizational politics is defined as the
management of influence to obtain ends not
sanctioned by the organization or to obtain
sanctioned ends through nonsanctioned
influence means.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
27
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Alternate tradition of organizational
politics.
– Politics is a necessary function resulting from
differences in the self-interests of individuals.
– Politics is the art of creative compromise
among competing interests.
– Politics is the use of power to develop socially
acceptable ends and means that balance
individual and collective interests.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
28
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
29
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Subunit power.
– Line units are typically more powerful than
are staff groups.
– Units toward the top of the organizational
hierarchy are often more powerful than those
toward the bottom.
– Power differentials are not as pronounced
among units at or near the same level in an
organization.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
30
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Political actions for influencing lateral,
intergroup relationships.
– Workflow linkages.
– Service linkages.
– Advisory linkages.
– Auditing linkages.
– Approval linkages.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
31
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Important aspects of corporate political strategy.
– Absence of a political strategy can be damaging.
– Corporate political strategy should be targeted toward
turning the government from a regulator against
industry to a protector of it.
– Need to make decisions about when and how to get
involved in the public policy processes.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
32
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Avoidance is quite common where the employee
must risk being wrong or where actions may
yield a sanction.
пѓ� Common techniques for avoiding action and risk
taking.
– Working to the rules.
– Playing dumb.
– Depersonalization.
– Stalling.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
33
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Common techniques for redirecting
accountability and responsibility.
– Passing the buck.
– Buffing (or rigorous documentation).
– Preparing a blind memo.
– Rewriting history.
– Redirecting.
• Scapegoating.
• Blaming the problem on uncontrollable events.
• Escalating commitment.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
34
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Defending turf.
– Defending turf is a time-honored tradition in most
large organizations.
– Defending turf results when:
• Managers seek to increase their power by expanding the jobs
their groups perform.
• Competing interests exist among various departments and
groups.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
35
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Agency theory.
– An important power problem arises from the
separation of owners and managers.
– Managers are “agents” of the owners.
– Public corporations can function effectively
even though its managers are self-interested.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
36
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Key arguments of agency theory.
– By protecting stockholder interests, all the
interests of society are served.
– Stockholders have a clear interest in greater
returns.
– Managers are self-interested and must be
controlled.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
37
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Types of controls instituted for agents.
– Pay plan incentives that align the interests of
management and stockholders.
– The establishment of a strong, independent
board of directors.
– Stockholders with a large stake in the firm
taking an active role on the board.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
38
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Resource dependencies.
– The firm’s need for resources that are controlled by
others.
пѓ� The resource dependence of an organization
increases as:
– Needed resources become more scarce.
– Outsiders have more control over needed resources.
– There are fewer substitutes for a particular type of
resource controlled by a limited number of outsiders.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
39
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Organizational governance.
– The pattern of authority, influence, and acceptable
managerial behavior established at the top of the
organization.
– Organizational governance establishes the following:
• What is important.
• How issues will be defined.
• Who should and should not be involved in key
choices
• Boundaries for acceptable implementation.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
40
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Negative views of organizational
governance.
– Unbalanced organizational governance by
some United States corporations may limit
their ability to manage global operations
effectively.
– Organizational governance is too closely tied
to the short-term interests of stockholders and
the pay of the CEO.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
41
Study Question 4: What is organizational
politics?
пѓ� Positive views of organizational governance.
– The governance of U.S. firms extends well beyond the
limited interests of the owners.
– Organization governance should be based on three
ethical criteria.
– When the three ethical criteria cannot be fulfilled, the
criterion of overwhelming factors should be invoked.
– Choosing to be ethical often involves considerable
personal sacrifice.
Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
42
COPYRIGHT
Copyright 2005 В© John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Organizational Behavior: Chapter 12
43
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