Organizational Politics and Political Behavior
Managers get things done through other people. They make decisions, allocate resources, and direct the activities of others to attain goals. Managers do their work in an organization, which is a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people that functions on a relatively continuous manufacturing and service firms are organizations. The people who oversee the activities of others and who are responsible for attaining goals in organizations are managers.
McShane, S. argued that leadership as the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals and the source of this influence may be formal, such as that provided by the possession of managerial rank in an organization. Because management positions come with some degree of formally designated authority, a person may assume a leadership role simply because of the position that people holds in the organization. But not all leaders are managers, nor, for that matter, are all managers’ leaders. Organizations need strong leadership and strong management for optimal effectiveness. In today’s dynamic world need leaders to challenge the status quo, to create visions of the future, and to inspire organizational members to want to achieve the visions. To formulate detailed plans, create efficient organizational structures, and oversee day-to-day operations are required by managers.
Robbins, P. S., & Judge, A. T., mentioned that motivation as the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining goals or objectives of an organization and motivation has a persistent dimension. This is a measure of how long a person can maintain effort. Motivated individual stay with a task long enough to achieve their goal. As a manager or leader by using political behavior or organizational politics, as the specific advantages and disadvantages in getting work done following OB theory can be relevant. In this case, McClelland’s theory of needs is applicable. This theory was developed by David McClelland and his associates. The theory focused on three needs: achievement, power and affiliation. These termed can be defined as below:
- Need for achievement- The drive to excel, to achieve in relation to set of standards, to strive to succeed.
- Need for power- The need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise.
- Need for affiliation- The desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Political Behaviour or Organizational Politics
Using political behavior or organizational politics in an organization enjoys some advantages and as well as also face some disadvantages. On the basis of aforesaid OB theory – “McClelland’s theory of needs” advantages and disadvantages of using political behavior or organizational politics can be expressed as below:
- An individual who has a clear understanding of who is responsible making decisions and why things happen the way they do than someone who does not understand the decision-making process in the organization. When both politics and understanding are high, performance is likely high to increase because the individual will see political actions as an opportunity. This is consistent with what might expect among individuals with well-honed political skills.
- People from politically turbulent countries might be more accepting of organizational politics and even more willing to use aggressive political tactics in the workplace.
- People have an ongoing interest in how others perceive and evaluate them and being perceived positively by others should have benefits for people in organizations. For instance, help them initially to get the jobs they want in an organization and once hired to get favorable evaluations superior salary increases and more rapid promotions. In a political context, it might help sway the distribution of advantage in their favor.
- People engage in political behaviors for little good reason because many of have distorted information to make a favorable impression management whether it’s really worth the risk.
- Agreeing with someone else’s opinion in order to gain his or her approval and doing something nice for someone to gain that person’s approval.
- Explanations of a predicament-creating event aimed at minimizing the apparent severity of the predicament.
- Admitting responsibility for an undesirable event and simultaneously seeking to get a pardon for the action.
- Factors that contribute to political behavior focused on the favorable outcomes for individuals who successfully engage in politicking. But for most people who have modest political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game outcomes tend to be predominantly negative.
- Very strong evidence indicating that perceptions of organizational politics are negatively related to job satisfaction. The perception of organizational politics also tends to increase job anxiety and stress.
- Due to the perception that, by not engaging in politics, a person may be losing ground to others who are active politickers, or conversely because of the additional pressures individuals feel because of having entered into and competing in the political arena.
- Not surprisingly, when politicking becomes too much to handle, it can lead to employees quitting.
- There is preliminary evidence suggesting that politics leads to self-reported declines in employee performance. This may occur because employees perceive political environments to be unfair, which demotivates them.
- The politics-performance relationship appears to be moderated by an individual’s understanding of the “how” and “whys” of organizational politics. When both politics and understanding are low, performance individuals are more likely to see politics as a threat, which would have a negative effect on job performance.
- When politics is seen as a threat and consistently respond to with defensiveness, negative outcomes are almost sure to surface eventually. When people perceive politics as a threat rather than as an opportunity, they often respond with defensive behaviors- reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action, blame, or change.
Aforementioned are the merits or benefits and disadvantages or demerits of an organization when using organizational politics.