Generally, politics gets to be part and parcel of any organization; this is because individual and or groups in an organization have different interests, goals, and values. Organizations are limited in terms of resources, and this sets a ground for conflict since all the constituencies cannot satisfy their needs (Schulman, 2014). The conflict in the organizations ranges from responsibilities, space allocation, budgetary allocation, and adjustments in salary scale, etcetera.
In a company, I worked for as a clerk in the Records Department. The department had four employees at my level and a supervisor who was the overall in-charge. One of the employees who was a fellow clerk happened to be having a behavior of buying gifts mostly to the supervisor and to us at times. The behavior made her win the trust of the supervisor, and she seemed to be closer to him than any of us, she could be allowed to call in sick several times that exceeds the allowed number. She could also set us up by reporting incorrect information concerning us to the supervisor, and this caused constant frictions at our department.
Individual and Organization Factors that led to the Political battle
Individual factors (Robbins, 1997): The employee who used to buy gifts to the boss had studied him well and knew that she would manipulate him by doing so. She had a high internal locus of control which she applied well and succeeded. She also had a high expectation of success, and that motivated her to continue with her character.
Organizational factors: The role of ambiguity played a big role in fueling the illegitimate politicking in this scenario, the said employee could call in sick frequently, and we could take up her roles for the whole time she is out since our roles were not distinct. Lack of trust also contributed to the issue.
Types of Political Behavior Exhibited
The conflict experienced at my former workplace can be categorized as a role and ambiguity conflict (Luthans et al., 2015). At my level, we were four clerks, and our roles were not distinct; this made one of us use her closeness to the supervisor to have excuses for leaving. We could then take up all the roles, and her absence would overburden us, but to the supervisor, everything would seem alright.
The conflict can also be categorized as intergroup behavior and conflict; this is because one of our group members used enticement to win the trust of the supervisor, and with that, she obtained favors. She could also get an advanced salary. This was a status struggle in which even though we were at the same level as per the organization's structure, she made herself appear a little higher than everyone owing to her closeness to the supervisor.
Unethically Behavior during the Conflict
The political activity of one of the team members described above is unethical (Robbins, 1997). This is because her behavior negatively affected the rest of the team. It led to the deterioration of trust between the supervisor and the rest of the team due to the incorrect information she fed the supervisor with. She also obtained unlawful favors like staying out of work for long, and this made the rest of the team to overwork and affected the overall performance of the department.
Luthans, F., Luthans, K. W., & Luthans, B. C. (2015). Chapter 9: Stress and Conflict. Organizational behavior: An evidence-based approach. Charlotte, North Carolina: Information Age Publishing, pp. 258-264.
Robbins, S. (1997). Chapter 11: Power and Politics. Essentials of Organizational Behavior. Pearson Education, New York, NY, pp. 869-901.
Schulman, D. (2014). Koch vs. Koch. Mother Jones, 39(4), 16-27. Available in the Trident Online Library.
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