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Flashcards in Chapter 7 Power and Politics Deck (53)
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What is Power?

A capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B, so that B acts in accordance with A's wishes.


Why is the study of power necessary?

Power and political behaviour are natural processes in any group or organization. By learning how power works in organizations, you will be able to use your knowledge to become a more effective manager.


Six bases of power.

Coercive, Reward, Legitimate, Expert, Referent, Information


Coercive Power

Power that is based on fear


Reward Power

Power that achieves compliance based on the ability to distribute rewards that others view as valuable


Legitimate Power

Power that person receives as a result of his or her position in the formal hierarchy of an organization


Expert Power

Influence based on expertise, special skills or knowledge


Referent Power

It develops out of admiration of another and a desire to be like that person


Information Power

Power that comes from access to and control over information


What are the 3 response to the use of power?

1. Commitment: The person is enthusiastic about the request and shows initiative and persistence in carrying it out

2. Compliance: The person goes along with the request unwillingly, puts in minimal effort and takes little initiative in carrying out the request

3. Resistance: The person is opposed to the request and tries to avoid it with tactics such as refusing, stalling, or arguging


The least effective base of power for improving commitment

Coercive: Leads to resistance, decreased satisfaction and increased mistrust


Why are the least effective bases of power are also the most popular ones among managers?

They are the easiest to introduce


What are the mid-range effective bases of power?

- Reward: Leads to compliance only if the rewards are consistent with what individuals want - Legitimate: Leads to compliance, but does not generate commitment (does not inspire individuals to act beyond the basic level)


What are the most effective bases of power?

Expert and Referent. Deadline pressures increase group members' reliance on individuals with expert and information power.


Three resource areas that create dependency

1. Importance: the things you control must be perceived as being important 2. Scarcity: a resource must be perceived as being scarce 3. Nonsubstitutability: the wanted resources must not have any viable substitutes


The nine influence tactics:

Rational Persuasion, Inspirational appeals, Consultation, Ingratiation, Personal appeals, Exchange, Coalitions, Pressure, Legitimacy


Rational Persuasion

Using facts and data to make a logical or rational presentation of ideas


Inspirational Appeals

Appealing to values, ideals, and goals when making a request



Getting others involved to support one's objectives



Using flattery, creating goodwill, and being friendly prior to making a request


Personal Appeals

Appealing to loyalty and friendship when asking for something



Getting the support of other people to get someone to do something



Using demands, threats, and reminders to get someone to something



Claiming the authority or right to make a request, or showing that it supports organizational goals or policies


Which are the most effective influence tactics?

Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals and consultation, especially when the audience is highly interested in the outcomes of a decision process


What is the least effective influence tactic?



Which 2 influence tactics can lessen the negative reactions that might come from appearing to 'dictate' outcomes? (But only when the audience does not really care about the outcomes of a decision process or the policy is routine)

Ingratiation and Legitimacy


Which influence tactic works across all organizational levels?

Rational presuasion


When do Inspirational and pressure work best?

Downward-influencing tactics with subordinates


Which tactics work best with lateral influence attempts?

Personal appeals and coalitions


What affect which tactics work best?

Direction of influence, sequencing of tactics, a person's skill in using the tactic and the culture of the organization


You are more likely to be effective if you begin with _____ tactics such as ____________.

soft (rely on personal power); personal and inspirational appeals, rational persuasion and consultation


If soft tactics fail, you can move to __________ tactics such as ______

hard (emphasize formal power and involve great costs and risks); Coalitions, pressure


Combing a soft tactic and _________ is most effective

Rational Persuasion


People likely to comply with soft power tactics tend to be:

more reflective, intrinsically motivated, have high self-esteem and have greater desire for control


People likely to comply with hard power tactics are:

More action-orientated, extrinsically motivated and more focused on getting along with others than with getting their own way


What is Empowerment?

The freedom and the ability of employees to make decisions and commitments


Four conditions required for true empowered:

1. There must be a clear definition of the values and mission of the company 2. The company must help employees gain the relevant skills 3. Employees need to be supported in their decision making and not criticized when they try to do something extraordinary 4. Employees need to be recognized for their efforts


Four characteristics of empowered people

1. Have a sense of self-determination (they are free to choose how to do their work and not micromanaged) 2. Have a sense of meaning (they feel their work is important and they care about what they are doing) 3. A sense of Competence (they are confident about their ability to do their work well and they can perform well) 4. A sense of Impact (they believe they have influence on their work and others listen to their ideas)


What is Sexual Harrassment?

Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature in the workplace that negatively affects the work environment or leads to adverse job-related consequences for the employee


Examples of sexual harassment

Unwanted physical touching, recurring requests for dates when it is made clear that the person is not interested, coercive threats that one will lose his or her job if he or she refuses a sexual proposition


How to handle harrassment

1. Stand up for yourself and tell the person to stop

2. Don’t ignore it

3. Don’t take revenge - Speak to your boss or Human Resources or someone else senior that you trust

4. Take notes – document!!! What was said, when, what happened


What is political behaviour?

Behaviours outside one's specified job requirements, which attempt to use one's bases of power to influence the goals, criteria or processes used for decision making


Three main reasons politics exists in an Organization

1. Organizations are made up of groups and individuals with differing values, goals and interests, which leads to potential for conflicts over resources 2. Resources in organizations are limited, which leads to competition 3. Performance outcomes are not completely clear and objective


8 types of political activity

1. Attacking or blaming others: used when trying to avoid responsibility for failure

2. Using information: Withholding or distorting informtion to hide negative information

3. Managing impressions: Bringing positive attention to oneself or taking credit for the positive accomplishments of others

4. Building support for ideas: Making sure that others will support one's ideas before they are presented

5. Praising others: Making important people feel good

6. Building coalitions: Joining with other people to create a powerful group

7. Associating with influential people: Building support networks

8. Creating obligations: Doing favours for others so they will owe you favours later


What is impression management?

The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them; ideally to be perceived positively


What impression management technique works well in interviews but not in performance review?



What impression management technique works well in both interviews and performance review?

Ingratiation (everyone likes compliments and to be treated nicely)


What are the 4 ways that office politics will work?

1. Nobody wins unless everybody wins: Packaging the idea to look as if they are best for the organization as a whole and will help others

2. Don't just ask for opinions, change them: Change their opinions so that they can see what you want to do

3. Everyone expects to be paid back: Building good relationships with colleagues, supporting them in their endeavors and showing appreciation for what they accomplish

4. Success can create opposition: Be prepared to deal with opposition


8 Ways to improve your Politicking

1. Frame arguments in terms of organizational goals

2. Develop the right image

3. Gain control of organizational resources

4. Make yourself appear indispensable

5. Be visible

6. Develop powerful allies

7. Avoid “tainted” members

8. Support your boss


What is bullying?

Repeated and unwanted behaviours meant to demean a person, such as taunting, insulting, intimidating, name calling, taking credit for another's work, harsh treatment in public, etc


How do workplace abuses of power affect employees?

Cause stress, negative job attitudes, lowers productivity of work group, mental and physical health issues