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Power and Politics - Essay Example

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Power and Politics

Researchers typify these arenas as a set of activities (Ferris, Frink, Bhawuk, et al., 1996; Mintzberg, 1985) in which few of the involved individuals are not known, and in which most of the rules are ambiguous. Organizational politics and power influence pits some individuals or employees of the organization against other similar entities or even against the organization itself, causing harm to the individuals, organizations and the growth prospects. However, politics and power influence remain an integral part of organizations, which the management personnel have long tried to reduce if not eliminate it from the company culture.
The structure of a team is important in determining how the team will perform. Each team member should contribute skills to enhance the team's overall performance. Individual work habits and leadership styles will determine if the team has the ability to join together and complete their common goals. Teams create environments that bring out the best in each team member. A commitment to effectively communicating information and ideas is a characteristic of an effective team.
That is why the usage of coercion and politics to gain advantage over team members can be very destructive to team dynamics. Coercion is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary is to force one to act or think in a certain manner, to dominate, restrain, or control by force. Often at work or in a group environment one might utilize this form of power to control dominance over the group. This usage of power can often make other team members conform. In a successful team conformity is not a useful tactic. The usage of politics and coercion to gain advantage over team members is a danger to the success of the project. Once team members realize that their input is not wanted more than likely they will withdraw from the process altogether. The USA today states, "offices dynamics often change from the usage of intimidation". (Bartol, 2008)
For example a team must work together to process information for the desired results. Once a member takes advantage of a situation and use coercion to gain advantage it often leads to disaster. An example of such disaster happened recently within our team. A couple classes ago we had a member that was an extremely dominant person. The person was very smart and well educated but had a problem understanding the syllabus. Everybody in the team would understand the group assignments one way but she would always play devil advocate on the simplest details. She would use coercion to gain advantage over the other team members when we would meet to complete group assignments. The entire team was guilty of just going with the flow, not wanting to cause any problem. She was so convincing we felt she had to be correct! The result was a low grade, because the content was not correct. So the team from that moment on did not allow that dominant personality use politics and power to manipulate the group any more.
Information Power is define as power through information as; Information power is the access to and/or the 'control' of information. It is one of the most important ...Show more


Power and politics are dominating forces with in organizations. Organizations are lead by people with power, and the ones who exercise control, fairly or unfairly. Power can be awarded by management to a person by title, "legitimate power" which is more formal and recognizable…
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Power and Politics essay example
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