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Principles of Organisational Behaviour

Lecture 6

Theme 2: Group Level


3. Power, Politics and Conflict

13 February 2012

Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Power: Definition
 A capacity that A has to influence the behaviour of B so that B acts in accordance with As wishes.  Dependency is key to power
The greater Bs dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Types of Power: Interpersonal


Formal Power
Is established by an individuals position in an organisation.

Personal Power
The power that comes from an individuals unique characteristics.

 Coercive Power
 

 Expert Power


Reward Power Legitimate Power

Referent Power

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Where does power come from?

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Power Tactics
Tactics Legitimacy Rational persuasion Exchange Inspirational appeals Consultation Personal appeals Ingratiation Pressure Coalitions Description Relying on authority and postion Use of logical arguments and evidence to persuade Give and take Tap into values, emotions, and beliefs to gain support Seeking participation in making decision Helping based on friendship or loyalty Making others feel good about themselves Demands, threats or intimidation to convince group of individuals working together toward a common goal to influence others

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Preferred Power Tactics by Influence Direction

(Kipnis et al, 1984)

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Factors Influencing the Choice and Effectiveness of Power Tactics

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Politics - Power in Action


 Political

Behaviour

Activities that are not required as part of ones formal role in the organisation, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages or disadvantages within the organisation

 Legitimate Political Behaviour


Normal everyday politics

 Illegitimate Political Behaviour


Extreme political behavior that violates the implied rules of the game

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Politics Is in the Eye of the Beholder


Political Label
1. Blaming others 2. Kissing up 3. Apple polishing 4. Passing the buck 5. Covering your rear 6. Creating conflict 7. Forming coalitions 8. Whistle blowing 9. Scheming 10. Overachieving 11. Ambitious 12. Opportunistic 13. Cunning 14. Arrogant 15. Perfectionist vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs. vs.

Effective Management Label


Fixing responsibility Developing working relationships Demonstrating loyalty Delegating authority Documenting decisions Encouraging change and innovation Facilitating teamwork Improving efficiency Planning ahead Competent and capable Career-minded Astute Practical-minded Confident Attentive to detail
Source: Based on T. C. Krell, M. E. Mendenhall, and J. Sendry, Doing Research in the Conceptual Morass of Organizational Politics, paper presented at the Western Academy of Management Conference, Hollywood, CA, April 1987.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Factors influencing Political Behaviour

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

The Ethics of Political Behaviour




Are there circumstances in which political tactics are ethically justified? (Cavanagh et al. 1981) They suggest three criteria


Utilitarian criteria does the behaviour produce a good outcome for people both inside and outside the organisation? Individual rights criteria does the behaviour respect the rights of all parties? Distributive justice criteria Does the behaviour treat all parties equitably and fairly?

13 February 2012

Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Conflict: Definition


A process that begins when one party perceives that another party has negatively affected, or is about to negatively affect, something that the first party cares about. A behaviour intended to obstruct the achievement of some other persons goal.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Types of conflict


Task Conflict Conflicts over content and goals of the work. Relationship Conflict Conflict based on interpersonal relationships. Process Conflict Conflict over how work gets done.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Different views of conflict


 Unitarist View of Conflict The belief that all conflict is harmful and must be avoided.  Human Relations View of Conflict The belief that conflict is a natural and inevitable outcome in any group.  Interactionist View of Conflict The belief that conflict is not only a positive force in a group but that it is absolutely necessary for a group to perform effectively However, all the conflict are not positive, - some conflicts support goals of the group and improve its performance, -------- Functional/Constructive form of conflicts - some conflicts hinder group performance ------ Dysfunctional/Destructive form of conflict
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Is conflict always bad?

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Causes of conflicts

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Ways to manage conflict


Change the structure

Problem solve

Change the team composition

Ways to manage conflict


Create a common opposing force

Consider majority rule

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Conflict handling

Source: K. Thomas, Conflict and Negotiation Processes in Organizations, in M.D. Dunnette and L.M. Hough (eds.), Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 2nd ed., vol. 3 (Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press, 1992), p. 668. With permission.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Stage IV: Behavior


Conflict-Intensity Continuum

Source: Based on S.P. Robbins, Managing Organizational Conflict: A Nontraditional Approach (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1974), pp. 9397; and F. Glasi, The Process of Conflict Escalation and the Roles of Third Parties, in G.B.J. Bomers and R. Peterson (eds.), Conflict Management and Industrial Relations (Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff, 1982), pp. 11940.

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)

Stage V: Outcomes
 Functional Outcomes from Conflict
 Increased

group performance  Improved quality of decisions  Stimulation of creativity and innovation  Encouragement of interest and curiosity  Provision of a medium for problem-solving  Creation of an environment for self-evaluation and change  Dysfunctional Outcomes from Conflict of discontent  Reduced group effectiveness  Retarded communication  Reduced group cohesiveness  Infighting among group members overcomes group goals
 Development

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Principles of Organisational Behaviour (POB)