Organizational Politics

Module 2 – Home

Organizational Politics

Modular Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this module, the student will be able to satisfy the following outcomes:

· Case

· Identify and explain the main sources of organizational politics.

· Identify and explain the main types of political behavior.

· Apply the three main areas of organizational ethics towards political actions.

· SLP

· Identify and explain the main sources of organizational politics.

· Identify and explain the main types of political behavior.

· Apply the three main areas of organizational ethics towards political actions.

· Discussion

· Identify examples of organizational politics in popular culture.

Module Overview

https://tlc.trident.edu/content/enforced/130660-MGT420-2018AUG13FT-2/group%20of%20people.png?_&d2lSessionVal=PQkdIeZGy2PEYfZVSJyDl0ZTo&ou=130660No matter how well run an organization is or how well qualified its employees are, the simple fact is that organizational politics are unavoidable. Organizations have people, and where you have people you have politics. However, some characteristics of organizations and of individuals are more likely to lead to political behavior.

If your organizational has unclear expectations or reward systems, then employees will be more likely to use political behavior in order to advance themselves. The more clearly defined performance expectations are, the more likely employees are to focus on their job rather than engage in politics. Also, creating an atmosphere of trust is another factor that minimizes politics. A lack of trust is one reason why people will resort to political behavior. In this module, you will learn about several other important individual and organizational factors that lead to political behavior.

There are numerous types of political behavior. For example, employees may selectively distribute information and keep some information to themselves in order to advance themselves or their agendas. Employees may go even further and attack or blame other employees. Another common political tactic is to form a coalition with other employees or departments that share their same political agenda. These are just a few examples of political behavior that you will read about.

As a leader, you can use your knowledge of political behavior and its causes to minimize the level of politics in your organization and keep everyone focused on doing their jobs. Likewise, you can also use politics to advance your own power or promotion. No matter how much distaste for politics you might have, some political behavior may be necessary to effectively do your job. But at the same time, you also need to be aware of the ethical considerations of political behavior. For any act of political behavior, you need to weigh the utilitarian outcome of your actions. That means ensuring that more good is done than harm as a result of your action. You also need to consider the individual rights of your employees. No action can be considered ethical if anyone’s rights are violated. Finally, you also need to consider distributive justice—which means ensuring that employees are treated equitably and fairly. In summary, politics are not necessarily evil but at the same time true leaders need to avoid the “dark side” and make sure they carefully consider the consequences of their actions.

Module 2 – Background

Organizational Politics

Required Reading

Delve deeper into these following readers for more detail and specifics on organizational politics. These two readings cover important material necessary for your Case and SLP. Note that you don’t have to read the whole chapters, just the page numbers listed for each reading:

https://tlc.trident.edu/content/enforced/130660-MGT420-2018AUG13FT-2/essentials%20of%20organizational%20behavior-robbins.jpg.png?_&d2lSessionVal=PQkdIeZGy2PEYfZVSJyDl0ZTo&ou=130660Robbins, S. (1997). Chapter 11: Power and politics. Essentials of Organizational Behavior. Pearson Education, New York, NY, pp. 869-901. Retrieved from www.rim.edu.bt/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/OBCDCH116.pdf

https://tlc.trident.edu/d2l/lor/viewer/viewFile.d2lfile/101876/2977,-1/ Luthans, F., Luthans, K. W., & Luthans, B. C. (2015). Chapter 10: Power and politics. Organizational Behavior: An Evidence-based Approach. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, pp. 296-304 [eBook Business Collection]

Optional Reading

Hellriegel, D. & Slocum, J. (2004). Chapter 9: Power and political behavior. Organizational Behavior 10th Edition. Mason, Ohio: Thomson/South-Western, pp. 279-286. Retrieved from http://www.swlearning.com/management/hellriegel/ob10e/isc/web_chapters/00-032C09.pdf

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MOD 2 ASSIGNMENT 1, CASE

ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS

Module 2 – Case ASSINMENT 1

Organizational Politics

Assignment Overview

https://tlc.trident.edu/content/enforced/130660-MGT420-2018AUG13FT-2/HP.png?_&d2lSessionVal=PQkdIeZGy2PEYfZVSJyDl0ZTo&ou=130660All organizations have internal politics. However, most organizations keep their political battles private and it is rare that the public will know the details about political intrigue within the major corporations. However, Hewlett-Packard (HP) is rare in that its political battles were waged publicly. HP will make for an ideal case study both because of the intense political behavior occurring at the top and because many articles have been written about these political battles.

HP has been through five CEOs since 2005, and each change of CEO has been controversial. The drama started in 2005 when then CEO Carly Fiorina was under attack from several members of HP’s Board of Directors. Some board members even took the dispute public by leaking information to the press. Fiorina fought back by investigating the leaks, but ultimately lost the battle and was ousted as CEO. Her replacement, Patricia Dunn, continued to investigate leaks by the board through the use of private investigators. Even more controversy emerged when it was discovered that the investigators used the method of “pretexting” in order to obtain phone records of board members.

Case Assignment

For this assignment, make sure to first carefully review the background materials regarding the causes of political behavior, types of political behavior, and the ethics of political behavior. Examples of the causes of political behavior include competition for resources, ambiguous organizational goals, lack of trust, and performance factors. Examples of types of political behavior include blaming others, selectively distributing information, managing impressions, and forming coalitions. Regarding ethics, consider the three main factors:

· Does the political action violate individual rights?

· Does it improve the welfare of those involved?

· Does it increase distributive justice?

Review the background materials and do some research on the political dramas at HP. There is a lot written about HP’s many dramas over the years; here are some articles to get you started:

Pearlstein, S. (2011, Sep 25). How HP, Silicon Valley’s darling, became a soap opera. The Washington Post

Veverka, M. (2011). The soap opera at HP continues. Barron’s, 91(39), 25.

Kessler, M. (2006, Sep 08). Controversial HP probe started under Fiorina; stock falls as board continues public feud. USA Today [ProQuest]

Harwell, D. & Paquette, D. (2015, Sep 27). Fiorina’s divisive legacy. Washington Post. [EBSCOhost]

Once you have finished reviewing the background materials and have completed your research on HP’s internal politics, write a 4- to 5-page paper addressing the following issues:

1. What individual and organizational factors of HP and its senior leaders led to the intense political behavior? Refer to some of the specific factors discussed on pages 877-883 of Robbins (1997) that you think apply the most to HP in this situation.

2. What types of political behaviors did HP’s board members and CEOs exhibit? Be specific and use the types of political behaviors discussed in pages 297-301 of Luthans et al. (2015).

3. Were the leaks to the press by members of the board ethical? Was the investigation by Patricia Dunn into the links ethical? Use the ethical framework discussed on pages 896-898 of Robbins (1997) to guide your answer.

Assignment Expectations

· Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.

· Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.

· Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Rely primarily on the required background readings as your sources of information.

· Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper , including pages 11-14 on in-text citations.

Mod 2, SLP ASSIGNMENT 2

SLP

Module 2 – SLP

Organizational Politics

For this assignment you will be continuing to write about your own workplace experiences as they relate to power and politics. Think of one of the largest political battles you witnessed or were apart of during your career, and think carefully about how the concepts from the background materials apply to what you experienced.

In preparation for the SLP, make sure you have a thorough grasp of the terminology from the background materials including the main individual and organizational factors that lead to political behavior and the types of political behavior. Once you are comfortable with the terminology and concepts from the background materials, write a 2- to 3-page paper addressing the following issues:

1. Briefly describe a political battle that took place in your workplace. Explain who the main players were and what issues were at stake.

2. What individual and organizational factors led to this political battle? Refer to the background readings in your answer, and in particular pages 877-883 of Robbins (1997).

3. What types of political behaviors did the participants in this political battle exhibit? Be specific and use the types of political behaviors discussed in pages 297-301 of Luthans et al. (2015).

4. Do you think any of the participants behaved unethically during this political battle? Use the ethical framework discussed on pages 896-898 of Robbins (1997) to guide your answer.

SLP Assignment Expectations

· Follow the assignment instructions closely and follow all steps listed in the instructions.

· Stay focused on the precise assignment questions, don’t go off on tangents or devote a lot of space to summarizing general background materials.

· Make sure to cite readings from the background materials page. Rely primarily on the required background readings as your sources of information.

· Include both a bibliography and in-text citations. See the Student Guide to Writing a High-Quality Academic Paper , including pages 11-14 on in-text citations.

Module 2 – Outcomes

Organizational Politics

· Module

· Identify and explain the main sources of organizational politics.

· Identify and explain the main types of political behavior.

· Apply the three main areas of organizational ethics towards political actions.

· Case

· Identify and explain the main sources of organizational politics.

· Identify and explain the main types of political behavior.

· Apply the three main areas of organizational ethics toward political actions.

· SLP

· Identify and explain the main sources of organizational politics.

· Identify and explain the main types of political behavior.

· Apply the three main areas of organizational ethics towards political actions.

· Discussion

· Identify examples of organizational politics in popular culture.