Power and politics are rarely appreciated as critical elements of an organizational culture whereas they are of significant value and prevalence in any business whether large or small. They have considerable influence on individuals and groups' behaviors and have a crucial role in the decision-making process. Organizational culture is termed as the significant opinions, values, beliefs and various ways through which the employees interact and integrate to create a social and psychological working environment. It is usually demonstrated by individual self-image, integration with the external world, inward performance and the future expectations. It primarily consists of experience, expectations, values, and philosophy that act as the members' behaviors' guidelines.
Additionally, culture comprises the norms, systems, values, beliefs, perceptions, visions and applicable languages in the business. Organizational power is the individual or group's ability to influence the behaviors of others while politics is defined as the process of bargaining and negotiating with the aim of taming conflicts and differences in the members' points of view (Barcharach, 1980). The implications of power are determined by how the employees utilize it and that is whether positively or negatively. Politics, on the other hand, can have a direct impact on the determination of who possesses power and its significance in the organizational culture to influence productivity.
Influence of power and politics
The process of decision-making in an organization involves political influence, but one must have significant power to ensure that the decisions have been accepted. Organizational management is tasked with numerous responsibilities that require rigor considerations before making any choice or decision. For instance, the respective leaders have to choose the best raw materials to use in the production of goods or decide the most relevant marketing strategies to utilize to ensure the business's goals and objectives are achieved (Barcharach, 1980). Therefore, the influence of power and politics in organizational culture is a demonstration of a political survey of the existing relations. In such displays, power play and politics are natural aspects and of which they are inevitable in the organization's productivity. Hence, prosperity in any business is political since all relationships involving the integration of power are created politically and embrace most of the fundamental elements associated with organizational politics.
The primary role of power is to accomplish the business's purpose in which the intended results are obtained if it is utilized appropriately. However, failure to direct it where needed or using it inappropriately can lead to underperformance in an organization. Leaders must present themselves politically to acquire power incorporated with significant authority to ensure that the subordinate members respect the instructions or decisions made. Thus, the nature of power play and utilization of political influence are crucial aspects in the prosperity of any business. It depends strongly on the competence of the leadership system in integrating the two to enhance performance and development in an organization through the incorporation of relevant available resources, policies, and languages. In their theories, Fielder (1967) and Obisi (1996) affirm that the foundations of leadership are power and influence.
Further, Fielder illustrates that the effectiveness and efficiency of a leader are determined by the nature of power he or she possesses. Therefore, considering that power hails from the highest point in management, it is the responsibility of the executives to act as the role models for the subordinate leaders to make sure that the employees exhibit a positive and productive organizational culture. The management should ensure that they prioritize enhancement of the nature of power play and political acts in the business to create a socially and psychologically healthy workplace.
Sources of power
In an organization, the management to enhance organizational performance utilizes six identifiable sources of power (Pfeffer, 1994).
It usually involves rewarding and appreciating the subordinate employees. It can include hiking their salaries, giving paid leave, promotions, sponsored vacations, and bonuses. The power is essential in influencing and enhancing the workers' performance since they feel motivated and recognized as significant stakeholders of the business.
It is also known as position power. It is the type of power acquired through legitimacy. The individual possessing must have the required qualifications. A leader with this power has the rights and the responsibilities to give instructions and make decisions affecting the subordinate employees. Also, he or she can inspect or review their work while providing feedback. It is the obligation of the managers with this power to demonstrate experience and expertise regarding their respective jobs to ensure enhanced organizational performance.
It illustrates the power a leader possesses and can use it to threaten fellow employees. It can include enforcement of strict measures and punishable actions that the workers have to comply with to avoid penalties such as terminations, salary or leave cuts. Employees' performance in the workplace can be improved if this power is used appropriately because they will be obliged to challenge themselves and enhance capabilities to prove their relevance to the bosses.
It is usually associated with the leaders' personality. It depends on the relationship the boss has with his or her subordinate employees and the charisma towards them of which will determine the level of respect and the approachability towards him or her. Leaders that express referent power positively can influence the employees to utilize their talents and skills optimally towards the accomplishment of the business's goals and ambitions.
It is demonstrated by the phrase that knowledge is power because it is based on the nature and talents of an individual. People with this power are almost indispensable since they possess significant experience and expertise utilized by the organization in enhancing its productivity. It is a valuable asset to the business, and through promotion, one can acquire the legitimate power to have unwavering authority over the subordinate employees.
It is based usually on the kind of information a person possesses regarding the business. The value of the secrets is the determinant of the power one has such that without that person some things will not function normally. It is important in the organizational development since the bearer of the information can create significant competitive advantages to be utilized by the business.
Leadership and behavior culture
It is recommended that leaders learn and understand the significance of positive power play and politics in the growth and development of an organization. Acquisition of adequate knowledge and experience regarding power and politics will enhance the management's leadership skills such that the leaders will be able to make decisions based on rigor consideration of their implications and position in the organizational culture (Barcharach, 1980). The study helps in the identification of the best and positive aspects to apply and which will encourage productivity and create a comprehensive and straightforward culture for the employees to follow. With the right knowledge about power and politics, the employees are likely to make the right and quality choices based on the best interests of the business.
An informed leader can use ways aimed at encouraging and motivating the employees unlike others with less knowledge who will be focused on threatening certain workers instead of recognizing and appreciating the hard work of the broader population. Moreover, adequate power and political education help in the generation of substantial policies and chains of commands that will motivate the workers to perform and spend ample time focusing on quality and rather not on personal gains. Knowledge and experience help to boost a person thinking capacity and this is crucial when giving opinions and developing ideas meant for the enhancement of organizational performance. The decision-making process will also be based on productive norms, beliefs, values, expectations, and ambitions. Therefore, it is critical for leaders to study and associate themselves with various important aspects of power and politics and be guided by the underlying knowledge that organizational performance is based on political activity.
It is important for managers to express their leadership skills maximally to make sure that there is an enhanced organizational structure and performance. In business, power is hierarchical, and all employees are expected to function collaboratively towards the achievement of the set goals and objectives. How leadership behaviors is an important aspect of any business, large and small, as the subordinate employees look up to their superiors for directions (Barcharach, 1980). With the right guidelines, collaborative decisions are expected throughout the organizations due to the existing trust among all the stakeholders irrespective of the position in the organizational structure. Also, meaningful and productive ideas will be generated when the working environment is socially and psychologically productive. It is difficult for individuals or groups to work together if they cannot agree on anything because of personal conflicts. Further, subordinate employees cannot respect or comply with their superiors' instructions if the bosses express unimpressive leadership qualities such as abusive languages, lack of integrity and inability to appreciate fellow workers' opinions and points of view. Hence, for there to be a stable organizational structure that accommodates every stakeholder in the organization, the leaders must express themselves respectively towards their subordinates and illustrate qualities worth their positions in the management system.
Consequently, the performance is likely to improve when the organizational structure is compliance with collaboration and integration of ideas across all corners of the company. A collaborative workplace implies that all the employees are working with a similar purpose of achieving the organization's goals and objectives, and ensuring they get at its vision (Barcharach, 1980). United workers will work together in producing quality whereas those functioning under disentangled organizational structure are likely to underperform since they are not aimed at a common goal but rather driven by personal goals. Therefore, it is the management system's responsibility to ensure that it exhibits outstanding leadership behaviors. They must be functional within the entire enterprise to have substantial outcomes.
Although power and politics are unrecognized and unappreciated by some management systems, they are fundamental aspects in the acquisition and achievement of the business's goals and objectives through the creation of functional organizational culture. Organizations' performance is dependent on the leadership structure's ability to exhibit quality strategies politically in managing and controlling various processes involved within and outside the business. Leaders must possess power and authority in order to have a significant influence on the subordinate employees of which are acquired politically. An individual has to show quality bargaining and negotiating skills to be considered authoritative in the wor...
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