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Chapter 13 Power and Politics LEARNING OBJECTIVES After studying this chapter, students should be able to: Contrast leadership and power. Explain the three bases of formal power and the two bases of personal power. Explain the role of dependence in power relationships. Identify power or influence tactics and their contingencies. Identify the causes and consequences of abuse of power. Describe how politics work in organizations. Identify the causes, consequences, and ethics of political behavior. INSTRUCTOR’S RESOURCES Instructors may wish to use the following resources when presenting this chapter. Text Exercises Career Objectives: Should I Become Political? Myth or Science?: “Powerful Leaders Keep Their (Fr)Enemies Close” An Ethical Choice: How Much Should You Manage Interviewer Impressions? Personal Inventory Assessments: Gaining Power and Influence Point/Counterpoint: Everyone Wants Power Questions for Review Experiential Exercise: Comparing Influence Tactics Ethical Dilemma: How Much Should You Defer to Those in Power? Text Cases Case Incident 1:Reshaping the Dubai Model Case Incident 2: Barry’s Peer Becomes His Boss Instructor’s Choice This section presents an exercise that is NOT found in the student's textbook. Instructor's Choice reinforces the text's emphasis through various activities. Some Instructor's Choice activities are centered on debates, group exercises, Internet research, and student experiences. Some can be used in class in their entirety, while others require some additional work on the student's part. The course instructor may choose to use these at anytime throughout the class—some may be more effective as icebreakers, while some may be used to pull together various concepts covered in the chapter. Web Exercises At the end of each chapter of this Instructor’s Manual, you will find suggested exercises and ideas for researching OB topics on the Internet. The exercises “Exploring OB Topics on the Web” are set up so that you can simply photocopy the pages, distribute them to your class, and make assignments accordingly. You may want to assign the exercises as an out-of-class activity or as lab activities with your class. Summary and Implications for Managers Few employees relish being powerless in their job and organization. People respond differently to the various power bases. Expert and referent power are derived from an individual’s personal qualities. In contrast, coercion, reward, and legitimate power are essentially organizationally derived. Competence especially appears to offer wide appeal, and its use as a power base results in high performance by group members. An effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. Some people are significantly more politically astute than others, meaning that they are aware of the underlying politics and can manage impressions. Those who are good at playing politics can be expected to get higher performance evaluations and, hence, larger salary increases and more promotions than the politically naïve or inept. The politically astute are also likely to exhibit higher job satisfaction and be better able to neutralize job stressors. Specific implications for managers are below: To maximize your power, you will want to increase others’ dependence on you. For instance, increase your power in relation to your boss by developing knowledge or a skill she needs and for which she perceives no ready substitute. You will not be alone in attempting to build your power bases. Others, particularly employees and peers, will be seeking to increase your dependence on them, while you are trying to minimize it and increase their dependence on you. Try to avoid putting others in a position where they feel they have no power. By assessing behavior in a political framework, you can better predict the actions of others and use that information to formulate political strategies that will gain advantages for you and your work unit. Consider that employees who have poor political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game generally relate perceived organizational politics to lower job satisfaction and self-reported performance, increased anxiety, and higher turnover. Therefore, if you are adept at organizational politics, help your employees understand the importance of becoming politically savvy. This chapter begins with a discussion of power in college sports. As we can see in the opening story, politics can wreak havoc on an essentially good system—in this case, ensuring student athletes get a high-quality education. In both practice and research, power and politics have been described as dirty words. In fact, it is easier for most of us to talk about sex or money than about power or political behavior. People who have power deny it, people who want it try not to look like they’re seeking it, and those who are good at getting it are secretive about how they do so. In this chapter, we show that power determines what goals people pursue, discuss how power works in organizations, and reveal the effects of political behavior. We begin by exploring our natural association of power with leadership. BRIEF CHAPTER OUTLINE Power and Leadership Power refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B, so that B acts in accordance with A’s wishes. Power may exist but not be used. It is, therefore, a capacity or potential. Probably the most important aspect of power is that it is a function of dependence. A person can have power over you only if he or she controls something you desire. Leaders use power as a means of attaining group goals. Differences Between Leadership and Power: Goal compatibility The direction of influence Bases of Power Formal Power Coercive power The coercive power base depends on fear of negative results. Reward power The opposite of coercive power is reward power. Legitimate power In formal groups and organizations, the most common access power is through legitimate power. Personal Power Expert power Expert power is influence wielded as a result of expertise, special skill, or knowledge. Referent power Referent power is based on identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits. Which Bases of Power Are Most Effective? Personal sources are most effective. Both expert and referent power are positively related to employees’ satisfaction with supervision, their organizational commitment, and their performance, whereas reward and legitimate power seem to be unrelated to these outcomes. Coercive power usually backfires. Dependence: The Key to Power The General Dependency Postulate The greater B’s dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B. When you possess anything that others require but that you alone control, you make them dependent upon you and, therefore, you gain power over them. Dependence, then, is inversely proportional to the alternative sources of supply. This is why most organizations develop multiple suppliers rather than using just one. It also explains why so many of us aspire to financial independence. What Creates Dependence? Importance To create dependency, the thing(s) you control must be perceived as being important. Scarcity A resource needs to be perceived as scarce to create dependency. The scarcity-dependency relationship can further be seen in the power of occupational categories. Individuals in occupations in which the supply of personnel is low relative to demand can negotiate compensation and benefit packages, which are far more attractive than can those in occupations where there is an abundance of candidates. Non substitutability The more that a resource has no viable substitutes, the more power that control over that resource provides. Social Network Analysis: A Tool for Assessing Resources One tool to assess the exchange of resources and dependencies within an organization is social network analysis. This method examines patterns of communication among organizational members to identify how information flows between them. Within a social network, or connections between people who share professional interests, each individual or group is called a node, and the links between nodes are called ties. When nodes communicate or exchange resources frequently, they are said to have very strong ties. A graphical illustration of the associations among individuals in a social network is called a sociogram and functions like an informal version of an organization chart. The difference is that a formal organization chart shows how authority is supposed to flow, whereas a sociogram shows how resources really flow in an organization. (Exhibit 13-1) Networks can create substantial power dynamics. Those in the position of brokers tend to have more power because they can leverage the unique resources they can acquire from different groups. In other words, many people are dependent upon brokers, which gives the brokers more power. There are many ways to implement a social network analysis in an organization. Some organizations keep track of the flow of e-mail communications or document sharing across departments. Other organizations look at data from human resources information systems, analyzing how supervisors and subordinates interact with one another. Power Tactics What power tactics do people use to translate power bases into specific action? Research has identified nine distinct influence tactics. Legitimacy. Relying on your authority position or saying a request accords with organizational policies or rules. Rational persuasion. Presenting logical arguments and factual evidence to demonstrate a request is reasonable. Inspirational appeals. Developing emotional commitment by appealing to a target’s values, needs, hopes, and aspirations. Consultation. Increasing the target’s support by involving him or her in deciding how you will accomplish your plan. Exchange. Rewarding the target with benefits or favors in exchange for following a request. Personal appeals. Asking for compliance based on friendship or loyalty. Ingratiation. Using flattery, praise, or friendly behavior prior to making a request. Pressure. Using warnings, repeated demands, and threats. Coalitions. Enlisting the aid or support of others to persuade the target to agree. Using Power Tactics Some tactics are more effective than others. Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation tend to be the most effective, especially when the audience is highly interested in the outcomes of a decision process. The effectiveness of some influence tactics depends on the direction of influence. As Exhibit 13-2 shows, rational persuasion is the only tactic effective across organizational levels. Inspirational appeals work best as a downward influencing tactic with subordinates. When pressure works, it’s generally downward only. Personal appeals and coalitions are most effective as lateral influence. Interestingly, a single soft tactic is more effective than a single hard tactic, and combining two soft tactics or a soft tactic and rational persuasion is more effective than any single tactic or combination of hard tactics. The effectiveness of tactics depends on the audience. Cultural Preferences for Power Tactics People in different countries prefer different power tactics. Those from individualist countries tend to see power in personalized terms and as a legitimate means of advancing their personal ends, whereas those in collectivist countries see power in social terms and as a legitimate means of helping others. Applying Power Tactics People differ in their political skill, or their ability to influence others to enhance their own Objectives. Finally, we know cultures within organizations differ markedly—some are warm, relaxed, and supportive; others are formal and conservative. Some cultures encourage participation and consultation, some encourage reason, and still others rely on pressure. People who fit the culture of the organization tend to obtain more influence. How Power Affects People Does power corrupt? Evidence suggests that power leads people to place their own interests ahead of others. Powerful people react—especially negatively—to any threats to their competence. Power also leads to overconfident decision making. Power Variables Power doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, and there are even positive effects of power. Let’s consider each of these in turn. First, the toxic effects of power depend on one’s personality. Research suggests that if we have an anxious personality, power does not corrupt us because we are less likely to think that using power benefits us. Second, the corrosive effect of power can be contained by organizational systems. One study found, for example, that while power made people behave in a self-serving manner, when accountability of this behavior was initiated, the self-serving behavior stopped. Third, forgive the pun, but we have the power to blunt the negative effects of power. One study showed that simply expressing gratitude toward powerful others made them less likely to aggress against us. Finally, remember the aphorism that those with little power grab and abuse what little they have? There appears to be some truth to this in that the people most likely to abuse power are those who are low in status and gain power. Why is this the case? It appears that having low status is threatening, and this fear is used in negative ways if power is given. As you can see, there are factors that can ameliorate the negative effects of power. But there also appear to be general positive effects. Power energizes and leads to approach motivation. It also can enhance people’s motivation to help others, at least for certain people. It is not so much that power corrupts as it reveals what we value. For those with strong moral identities, power actually enhanced their moral awareness. Sexual Harassment: Unequal Power in the Workplace Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted activity of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment and creates a hostile work environment. Organizations have generally made progress in the past decade toward limiting overt forms of sexual harassment. Generally, sexual harassment is more prevalent in male-dominated societies. Most studies confirm that the concept of power is central to understanding sexual harassment. The following are some ways managers can protect themselves and their employees from sexual harassment: Make sure an active policy defines what constitutes sexual harassment, informs employees they can be fired for sexually harassing another employee, and establishes procedures for how complaints can be made. Reassure employees that they will not encounter retaliation if they issue a complaint. Investigate every complaint and include the legal and human resource departments. Make sure offenders are disciplined or terminated. Set up in-house seminars to raise employee awareness of the issues surrounding sexual harassment. The bottom line is that managers have a responsibility to protect their employees from a hostile work environment, but they also need to protect themselves. Politics: Power in Action Definition of Organizational Politics Political behavior refers to those activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization. Political behavior is outside one’s specified job requirements. It encompasses efforts to influence the goals, criteria, or processes used for decision making. It includes such varied political behaviors as withholding key information from decision makers, whistle blowing, spreading rumors, leaking confidential information, etc. The Reality of Politics Interviews with experienced managers show that most believe political behavior is a major part of organizational life. Politics is a fact of life in organizations. The most important factor leading to politics within organizations is the realization that most of the “facts” that are used to allocate the limited resources are open to interpretation. Most managerial decisions take place in the large and ambiguous middle ground of organizational life. Because most decisions have to be made in a climate of ambiguity, people within organizations will use whatever influence they can to taint the facts to support their goals and interests. Causes and Consequences of Political Behavior Factors Contributing to Political Behavior (Exhibit 13-3) Individual factors Researchers have identified certain personality traits, needs, and other factors that are likely to be related to political behavior. Employees who are high self-monitors, possess an internal locus of control, and have a high need for power are more likely to engage in political behavior. The high self-monitor is more sensitive to social cues and is more likely to be skilled in political behavior than the low self-monitor. An individual’s investment in the organization, perceived alternatives, and expectations of success will influence the tendency to pursue illegitimate means of political action. Organizational Factors Political activity is probably more a function of the organization’s characteristics than of individual difference variables. When an organization’s resources are declining, when the existing pattern of resources is changing, and when there is opportunity for promotions, politics is more likely to surface. Cultures characterized by low trust, role ambiguity, unclear performance evaluation systems, zero-sum reward allocation practices, democratic decision making, high pressures for performance, and self-serving senior managers will create breeding grounds for politicking. When organizations downsize to improve efficiency, people may engage in political actions to safeguard what they have. Promotion decisions have consistently been found to be one of the most political in organizations. The less trust there is within the organization, the higher the level of political behavior and the more likely it will be illegitimate. Role ambiguity means that the prescribed behaviors of the employee are not clear. The zero-sum approach treats the reward “pie” as fixed so that any gain one person or group achieves has to come at the expense of another person or group. How Do People Respond to Organizational Politics? For most people—who have modest political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game—outcomes tend to be predominantly negative. Exhibit 13-4 summarizes the extensive research on the relationship between organizational politics and individual outcomes. There is very strong evidence indicating that perceptions of organizational politics are negatively related to job satisfaction. The perception of politics leads to anxiety or stress. When it gets to be too much to handle, employees quit. When employees of two agencies in a recent study in Nigeria viewed their work environments as political, they reported higher levels of job distress and were less likely to help their coworkers. Researchers have also noted several interesting qualifiers. The politics–performance relationship appears to be moderated by an individual’s understanding of the “hows” and “whys” of organizational politics. Political behavior at work moderates the effects of ethical leadership. When employees see politics as a threat, they often respond with defensive behaviors—reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action, blame, or change. (Exhibit 13-5) Impression Management We know that people have an ongoing interest in how others perceive and evaluate them. Being perceived positively by others should have benefits for people in organizations. The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them is called impression management (IM). Who engages in IM—the high self-monitor. (Exhibit 13-6) IM does not imply that the impressions people convey are necessarily false. Excuses and acclaiming, for instance, may be offered with sincerity. You can actually believe that ads contribute little to sales in your region or that you are the key to the tripling of your division’s sales. (Exhibit 13-6) Misrepresentation can have a high cost. If the image claimed is false, you may be discredited. Most of the studies undertaken to test the effectiveness of IM techniques have related it to two criteria: interview success and performance evaluations. Let’s consider each of these. The evidence indicates most job applicants use IM techniques in interviews and that it works. In terms of performance ratings, the picture is quite different. Ingratiation is positively related to performance ratings, meaning those who ingratiate with their supervisors get higher performance evaluations. Ingratiating always works because everyone—both interviewers and supervisors—likes to be treated nicely. However, self-promotion may work only in interviews and backfire on the job because, whereas the interviewer has little idea whether you’re blowing smoke about your accomplishments, the supervisor knows because it’s his or her job to observe you. Thus, if you’re going to self-promote, remember that what works in an interview won’t always work once you’re on the job. Almost all our conclusions on employee reactions to organizational politics are based on studies conducted in North America. The few studies that have included other countries suggest some minor modifications. One study of managers in U.S. culture and three Chinese cultures (People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) found U.S. managers evaluated “gentle persuasion” tactics such as consultation and inspirational appeal as more effective than did their Chinese counterparts. Other research suggests that effective U.S. leaders achieve influence by focusing on personal goals of group members and the tasks at hand (an analytical approach), whereas influential East Asian leaders focus on relationships among group members and meeting the demands of the people around them (a holistic approach). The Ethics of Behaving Politically Although there are no clear-cut ways to differentiate ethical from unethical politicking, there are some questions you should consider. For example, what is the utility of engaging in politicking? Sometimes we engage in political behavior for little good reason. Major league baseball player Al Martin claimed he played football at USC when in fact he never did. As a baseball player, he had little to gain by pretending to have played football. Outright lies like this may be a rather extreme example of impression management, but many of us have distorted information to make a favorable impression. One thing to keep in mind is whether it’s really worth the risk. Another question to ask is this: How does the utility of engaging in the political behavior balance out any harm (or potential harm) it will do to others? Finally, does the political activity conform to standards of equity and justice? Sometimes it is difficult to weigh the costs and benefits of a political action, but its ethicality is clear. The department head who inflates the performance evaluation of a favored employee and deflates the evaluation of a disfavored employee—and then uses these evaluations to justify giving the former a big raise and nothing to the latter—has treated the disfavored employee unfairly. Unfortunately, powerful people can become very good at explaining self-serving behaviors in terms of the organization’s best interests. When faced with an ethical dilemma regarding organizational politics, try to consider whether playing politics is worth the risk and whether others might be harmed in the process. If you have a strong power base, recognize the ability of power to corrupt. Mapping Your Political Career One of the most useful ways to think about power and politics is in terms of your own career. Think about your career in your organization of choice. What are your ambitions? Who has the power to help you get there? What is your relationship with these people? The best way to answer these questions is with a political map, which can help you sketch out your relationships with the people upon whom your career depends. Power and politics are a part of organizational life. To decide not to play is deciding not to be effective. Better to be explicit about it with a political map than to proceed as if power and politics didn’t matter. Summary and Implications for Managers Few employees relish being powerless in their job and organization. People respond differently to the various power bases. Expert and referent power are derived from an individual’s personal qualities. In contrast, coercion, reward, and legitimate power are essentially organizationally derived. Competence especially appears to offer wide appeal, and its use as a power base results in high performance by group members. An effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. Some people are significantly more politically astute than others, meaning that they are aware of the underlying politics and can manage impressions. Those who are good at playing politics can be expected to get higher performance evaluations and, hence, larger salary increases and more promotions than the politically naïve or inept. The politically astute are also likely to exhibit higher job satisfaction and be better able to neutralize job stressors. Specific implications for managers are below: To maximize your power, you will want to increase others’ dependence on you. You can, for instance, increase your power in relation to your boss by developing knowledge or a skill she needs and for which she perceives no ready substitute. You will not be alone in attempting to build your power bases. Others, particularly employees and peers, will be seeking to increase your dependence on them, while you are trying to minimize it and increase their dependence on you. The result is a continual battle. Try to avoid putting others in a position where they feel they have no power. By assessing behavior in a political framework, you can better predict the actions of others and use that information to formulate political strategies that will gain advantages for you and your work unit. Consider that employees who have poor political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game generally relate perceived organizational politics to lower job satisfaction and self-reported performance, increased anxiety, and higher turnover. Therefore, if you are adept at organizational politics, help your employees understand the importance of becoming politically savvy. EXPANDED CHAPTER OUTLINE Power and Leadership Power refers to a capacity that A has to influence the behavior of B, so that B acts in accordance with A’s wishes. Power may exist but not be used. It is, therefore, a capacity or potential. Probably the most important aspect of power is that it is a function of dependence. The greater B’s dependence on A, the greater is A’s power in the relationship. Dependence, in turn, is based on alternatives that B perceives and the importance that B places on the alternative(s) that A controls. A person can have power over you only if he or she controls something you desire. Leaders use power as a means of attaining group goals. Differences Between Leadership and Power Goal compatibility: Power does not require goal compatibility, merely dependence. Leadership, on the other hand, requires some congruence between the goals of the leader and those being led. The direction of influence: Leadership focuses on the downward influence on one’s followers. Leadership research, for the most part, emphasizes style. The research on power focuses on tactics for gaining compliance. It goes beyond the individual as the exerciser of power, because groups as well as individuals can use power to control other individuals or groups. Bases of Power Formal Power Coercive power The coercive power base depends on fear of negative results. It rests on the application, or the threat of application, of physical sanctions such as the infliction of pain, the generation of frustration through restriction of movement, or the controlling by force of basic physiological or safety needs. At the organizational level, A has coercive power over B if A can dismiss, suspend, or demote B, assuming that B values his or her job. Similarly, if A can assign B work activities that B finds unpleasant or treat B in a manner that B finds embarrassing, then A possesses coercive power over B. Reward power The opposite of coercive power is reward power. People comply because doing so produces positive benefits; therefore, one who can distribute rewards that others view as valuable will have power over those others. These rewards can be either financial—such as controlling pay rates, raises, and bonuses—or nonfinancial, including recognition, promotions, interesting work assignments, friendly colleagues, and preferred work shifts or sales territories. Legitimate power In formal groups and organizations, the most common access power is through legitimate power. It represents the power a person receives as a result of his/her position in the formal hierarchy. Legitimate power is broader than the power to coerce and reward. It includes acceptance of the authority of a position by members of an organization. Personal Power Expert power Expert power is influence wielded as a result of expertise, special skill, or knowledge. As jobs become more specialized, we become increasingly dependent on experts to achieve goals. Referent power Referent power is based on identification with a person who has desirable resources or personal traits. If I admire and identify with you, you can exercise power over me because I want to please you. Referent power develops out of admiration of another and a desire to be like that person. Referent power explains why celebrities are paid millions of dollars to endorse products in commercials. Some people who are not in formal leadership positions nonetheless have referent power and exert influence over others because of their charismatic dynamism, likability, and emotional effects on us. Which Bases of Power Are Most Effective? Personal sources are most effective. Both expert and referent power are positively related to employees’ satisfaction with supervision, their organizational commitment, and their performance, whereas reward and legitimate power seem to be unrelated to these outcomes. Coercive power usually backfires. Dependence: The Key to Power The General Dependence Postulate The greater B’s dependency on A, the greater the power A has over B. When you possess anything that others require but that you alone control, you make them dependent upon you and, therefore, you gain power over them. Dependence, then, is inversely proportional to the alternative sources of supply. This is why most organizations develop multiple suppliers rather than using just one. It also explains why so many of us aspire to financial independence. What Creates Dependence? Importance To create dependency, the thing(s) you control must be perceived as being important. Scarcity A resource needs to be perceived as scarce to create dependency. The scarcity-dependency relationship can further be seen in the power of occupational categories. Individuals in occupations in which the supply of personnel is low relative to demand can negotiate compensation and benefit packages, which are far more attractive than can those in occupations where there is an abundance of candidates. Non substitutability The more that a resource has no viable substitutes, the more power that control over that resource provides. Social Network Analysis: A Tool for Assessing Resources One tool to assess the exchange of resources and dependencies within an organization is social network analysis. This method examines patterns of communication among organizational members to identify how information flows between them. Within a social network, or connections between people who share professional interests, each individual or group is called a node, and the links between nodes are called ties. When nodes communicate or exchange resources frequently, they are said to have very strong ties. A graphical illustration of the associations among individuals in a social network is called a sociogram and functions like an informal version of an organization chart. The difference is that a formal organization chart shows how authority is supposed to flow, whereas a sociogram shows how resources really flow in an organization. (Exhibit 13-1) Networks can create substantial power dynamics. Those in the position of brokers tend to have more power because they can leverage the unique resources they can acquire from different groups. In other words, many people are dependent upon brokers, which gives the brokers more power. There are many ways to implement a social network analysis in an organization. Some organizations keep track of the flow of e-mail communications or document sharing across departments. Other organizations look at data from human resources information systems, analyzing how supervisors and subordinates interact with one another. Power Tactics What power tactics do people use to translate power bases into specific action? Research has identified nine distinct influence tactics. Legitimacy. Relying on your authority position or saying a request accords with organizational policies or rules. Rational persuasion. Presenting logical arguments and factual evidence to demonstrate a request is reasonable. Inspirational appeals. Developing emotional commitment by appealing to a target’s values, needs, hopes, and aspirations. Consultation. Increasing the target’s support by involving him or her in deciding how you will accomplish your plan. Exchange. Rewarding the target with benefits or favors in exchange for following a request. Personal appeals. Asking for compliance based on friendship or loyalty. Ingratiation. Using flattery, praise, or friendly behavior prior to making a request. Pressure. Using warnings, repeated demands, and threats. Coalitions. Enlisting the aid or support of others to persuade the target to agree. Using Power Tactics Some tactics are more effective than others. Rational persuasion, inspirational appeals, and consultation tend to be the most effective, especially when the audience is highly interested in the outcomes of a decision process. Pressure tends to backfire and is typically the least effective of the nine tactics. You can also increase your chance of success by using more than one type of tactic at the same time or sequentially, as long as your choices are compatible. Using both ingratiation and legitimacy can lessen the negative reactions 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. But the effectiveness of some influence tactics depends on the direction of influence. As Exhibit 13-2 shows, rational persuasion is the only tactic effective across organizational levels. Inspirational appeals work best as a downward influencing tactic with subordinates. When pressure works, it’s generally downward only. Personal appeals and coalitions are most effective as lateral influence. Other factors that affect the effectiveness of influence include the sequencing of tactics, a person’s skill in using the tactic, and the organizational culture. You’re more likely to be effective if you begin with “softer” tactics that rely on personal power, such as personal and inspirational appeals, rational persuasion, and consultation. If these fail, you can move to “harder” tactics, such as exchange, coalitions, and pressure, which emphasize formal power and incur greater costs and risks. Interestingly, a single soft tactic is more effective than a single hard tactic, and combining two soft tactics or a soft tactic and rational persuasion is more effective than any single tactic or combination of hard tactics. The effectiveness of tactics depends on the audience. People who especially likely to comply with soft power tactics tend to be more reflective, are intrinsically motivated, have high self-esteem, and have greater desire for control. People especially likely to comply with hard power tactics are more action-oriented and extrinsically motivated and are more focused on getting along with others than with getting their own way. Cultural Preferences for Power Tactics People in different countries prefer different power tactics. Those from individualistic countries tend to see power in personalized terms and as a legitimate means of advancing their personal ends, whereas those in collectivistic countries see power in social terms and as a legitimate means of helping others. A study comparing managers in the United States and China found that U.S. managers prefer rational appeal, whereas Chinese managers preferred coalition tactics. These differences tend to be consistent with the values in these two countries. Reason is consistent with the U.S. preference for direct confrontation and rational persuasion to influence others and resolve differences, while coalition tactics align with the Chinese preference for meeting difficult or controversial requests with indirect approaches. Applying Power Tactics People differ in their political skill, or their ability to influence others to enhance their own Objectives. The politically skilled are more effective users of all of the influence tactics. Political skill also appears more effective when the stakes are high—such as when the individual is accountable for important organizational outcomes. Finally, the politically skilled are able to exert their influence without others detecting it, a key element in being effective (it’s damaging to be labeled political). Finally, we know cultures within organizations differ markedly—some are warm, relaxed, and supportive; others are formal and conservative. Some cultures encourage participation and consultation, some encourage reason, and still others rely on pressure. People who fit the culture of the organization tend to obtain more influence. Specifically, extraverts tend to be more influential in team-oriented organizations, and highly conscientious people are more influential in organizations that value working alone on technical tasks. Part of the reason people who fit the culture are influential is that they are able to perform especially well in the domains deemed most important for success. In other words, they are influential because they are competent. So the organization itself will influence which subset of power tactics is viewed as acceptable for use. How Power Affects People Does power corrupt? Evidence suggests that power leads people to place their own interests ahead of others. Powerful people react—especially negatively—to any threats to their competence. Power also leads to overconfident decision making. Power Variables Power doesn’t affect everyone in the same way, and there are even positive effects of power. Let’s consider each of these in turn. First, the toxic effects of power depend on one’s personality. Research suggests that if we have an anxious personality, power does not corrupt us because we are less likely to think that using power benefits us. Second, the corrosive effect of power can be contained by organizational systems. One study found, for example, that while power made people behave in a self-serving manner, when accountability of this behavior was initiated, the self-serving behavior stopped. Third, forgive the pun, but we have the power to blunt the negative effects of power. One study showed that simply expressing gratitude toward powerful others made them less likely to aggress against us. Finally, remember the aphorism that those with little power grab and abuse what little they have? There appears to be some truth to this in that the people most likely to abuse power are those who are low in status and gain power. Why is this the case? It appears that having low status is threatening, and this fear is used in negative ways if power is given. As you can see, there are factors that can ameliorate the negative effects of power. But there also appear to be general positive effects. Power energizes and leads to approach motivation. It also can enhance people’s motivation to help others, at least for certain people. It is not so much that power corrupts as it reveals. For those with strong moral identities, power actually enhanced their moral awareness. Sexual Harassment: Unequal Power in the Workplace Sexual harassment is defined as any unwanted activity of a sexual nature that affects an individual’s employment and creates a hostile work environment. Although the definition changes from country to country, most nations have at least some policies to protect workers. Whether the policies or laws are followed is another question, however. Organizations have generally made progress in the past decade toward limiting overt forms of sexual harassment. This includes unwanted physical touching, recurring requests for dates when it is made clear the person isn’t interested, and coercive threats that a person will lose his or her job for refusing a sexual proposition. Generally, sexual harassment is more prevalent in male-dominated societies. Most studies confirm that the concept of power is central to understanding sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is more likely to occur when there are large power differentials. The supervisor-employee dyad best characterizes an unequal power relationship, where formal power gives the supervisor the capacity to reward and coerce. Because employees want favorable performance reviews, salary increases, and the like, supervisors control resources most employees consider important and scarce. Thus, sexual harassment by the boss typically creates the greatest difficulty for those being harassed. If there are no witnesses, it is the victim’s word against the harasser’s. Has this boss harassed others, and, if so, will they come forward or fear retaliation? The following are some ways managers can protect themselves and their employees from sexual harassment. Make sure an active policy defines what constitutes sexual harassment, informs employees they can be fired for sexually harassing another employee, and establishes procedures for how complaints can be made. Reassure employees that they will not encounter retaliation if they issue a complaint. Investigate every complaint and include the legal and human resource departments. Make sure offenders are disciplined or terminated. Set up in-house seminars to raise employee awareness of the issues surrounding sexual harassment. The bottom line is that managers have a responsibility to protect their employees from a hostile work environment, but they also need to protect themselves. Managers may be unaware that one of their employees is being sexually harassed. But being unaware does not protect them or their organization. If investigators believe a manager could have known about the harassment, both the manager and the company can be held liable. Politics: Power in Action Definition of Organizational Politics Political behavior refers to those activities that are not required as part of one’s formal role in the organization, but that influence, or attempt to influence, the distribution of advantages and disadvantages within the organization. Political behavior is outside one’s specified job requirements. It encompasses efforts to influence the goals, criteria, or processes used for decision making. It includes such varied political behaviors as withholding key information from decision makers, whistle blowing, spreading rumors, leaking confidential information, etc. The Reality of Politics Interviews with experienced managers show that most believe political behavior is a major part of organizational life. Many managers report some use of political behavior is both ethical and necessary, as long as it doesn’t directly harm anyone else. They describe politics as a necessary evil and believe someone who never uses political behavior will have a hard time getting things done. Most also indicate they had never been trained to use political behavior effectively. Organizations are made up of individuals and groups with different values, goals, and interests. This sets up the potential for conflict over resources. Resources in organizations are also limited, which often turns potential conflict into real conflict. Because resources are limited, not everyone’s interests can be provided for causing the conflict. Gains by one individual or group are often perceived as being at the expense of others. These forces create a competition. The most important factor leading to politics within organizations is the realization that most of the “facts” that are used to allocate the limited resources are open to interpretation. What is good performance? What’s an adequate improvement? Most managerial decisions take place in the large and ambiguous middle ground of organizational life. Because most decisions have to be made in a climate of ambiguity, people within organizations will use whatever influence they can to taint the facts to support their goals and interests. These are activities we call politicking. It is possible for an organization to be politics free, if all members of that organization hold the same goals and interests, however, that is not the organization most people work in. Causes and Consequences of Political Behavior Factors Contributing to Political Behavior (Exhibit 13-3) Individual factors Researchers have identified certain personality traits, needs, and other factors that are likely to be related to political behavior. Employees who are high self-monitors, possess an internal locus of control, and have a high need for power are more likely to engage in political behavior. The high self-monitor is more sensitive to social cues and is more likely to be skilled in political behavior than the low self-monitor. Individuals with an internal locus of control are more prone to take a proactive stance and attempt to manipulate situations in their favor. The Machiavellian personality is comfortable using politics as a means to further his/her self-interest. An individual’s investment in the organization, perceived alternatives, and expectations of success will influence the tendency to pursue illegitimate means of political action. The more that a person has invested and the more a person has to lose, the less likely he/she is to use illegitimate means. The more a person expects increased future benefits from the organization, the more that person has to lose if forced out and the less likely he or she is to use illegitimate means. The more alternative job opportunities an individual has—due to a favorable job market or the possession of scarce skills or knowledge, a prominent reputation, or influential contacts outside the organization—the more likely that individual is to risk illegitimate political actions. Finally, an individual with low expectations of success from illegitimate means is unlikely to use them. High expectations from such measures are most likely to be the province of both experienced and powerful individuals with polished political skills and inexperienced and naïve employees who misjudge their chances. Organizational Factors Political activity is probably more a function of the organization’s characteristics than of individual difference variables. When an organization’s resources are declining, when the existing pattern of resources is changing, and when there is opportunity for promotions, politics is more likely to surface. Cultures characterized by low trust, role ambiguity, unclear performance evaluation systems, zero-sum reward allocation practices, democratic decision making, high pressures for performance, and self-serving senior managers will create breeding grounds for politicking. When organizations downsize to improve efficiency, people may engage in political actions to safeguard what they have. Promotion decisions have consistently been found to be one of the most political in organizations. The less trust there is within the organization, the higher the level of political behavior and the more likely it will be illegitimate. Role ambiguity means that the prescribed behaviors of the employee are not clear. Subjective criteria in the appraisal process. Subjective performance criteria create ambiguity. Single outcome measures encourage doing whatever is necessary to “look good.” The more time that elapses between an action and its appraisal, the more unlikely that the employee will be held accountable for his/her political behaviors. The zero-sum approach treats the reward “pie” as fixed so that any gain one person or group achieves has to come at the expense of another person or group. How Do People Respond to Organizational Politics? For most people—who have modest political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game—outcomes tend to be predominantly negative. Exhibit 13-4 summarizes the extensive research on the relationship between organizational politics and individual outcomes. There is very strong evidence indicating that perceptions of organizational politics are negatively related to job satisfaction. The perception of politics leads to anxiety or stress. When it gets to be too much to handle, employees quit. When employees of two agencies in a recent study in Nigeria viewed their work environments as political, they reported higher levels of job distress and were less likely to help their coworkers. Thus, although developing countries such as Nigeria are perhaps more ambiguous and more political environments in which to work, the negative consequences of politics appear to be the same as in the United States. Researchers have also noted several interesting qualifiers. The politics-performance relationship appears to be moderated by an individual’s understanding of the “hows” and “whys” of organizational politics. Political behavior and work moderates the effects of ethical leadership. When employees see politics as a threat, they often respond with defensive behaviors—reactive and protective behaviors to avoid action, blame, or change. (Exhibit 13-5) Defensive behaviors are often associated with negative feelings toward the job and work environment. In the short run, employees may find that defensiveness protects their self-interest, but in the long run it wears them down. People who consistently rely on defensiveness find that, eventually, it is the only way they know how to behave. At that point, they lose the trust and support of their peers, bosses, employees, and clients. Impression Management We know that people have an ongoing interest in how others perceive and evaluate them. Being perceived positively by others should have benefits for people in organizations. The process by which individuals attempt to control the impression others form of them is called impression management (IM). Who engages in IM—the high self-monitor. (Exhibit 13-6) Low self-monitors tend to present images of themselves that are consistent with their personalities, regardless of the beneficial or detrimental effects for them. High self-monitors are good at reading situations and molding their appearances and behavior to fit each situation. IM does not imply that the impressions people convey are necessarily false. Excuses and acclaiming, for instance, may be offered with sincerity. You can actually believe that ads contribute little to sales in your region or that you are the key to the tripling of your division’s sales. (Exhibit 13-6) Misrepresentation can have a high cost. If the image claimed is false, you may be discredited. Most of the studies undertaken to test the effectiveness of IM techniques have related it to two criteria: interview success and performance evaluations. Let’s consider each of these. The evidence indicates most job applicants use IM techniques in interviews and that it works. Some IM techniques work better than others in the interview. In terms of performance ratings, the picture is quite different. Ingratiation is positively related to performance ratings, meaning those who ingratiate with their supervisors get higher performance evaluations. However, self-promotion appears to backfire: Those who self-promote actually seem to receive lower performance evaluations. It appears that individuals high in political skill are able to translate IM into higher performance appraisals, whereas those lower in political skill are more likely to be hurt by their IM attempts. Another study of 760 boards of directors found that individuals who ingratiate themselves to current board members (express agreement with the director, point out shared attitudes and opinions, compliment the director) increase their chances of landing on a board. Ingratiating always works because everyone—both interviewers and supervisors—likes to be treated nicely. However, self-promotion may work only in interviews and backfire on the job because, whereas the interviewer has little idea whether you’re blowing smoke about your accomplishments, the supervisor knows because it’s his or her job to observe you. Almost all our conclusions on employee reactions to organizational politics are based on studies conducted in North America. The few studies that have included other countries suggest some minor modifications. One study of managers in U.S. culture and three Chinese cultures (People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan) found U.S. managers evaluated “gentle persuasion” tactics such as consultation and inspirational appeal as more effective than did their Chinese counterparts. Other research suggests that effective U.S. leaders achieve influence by focusing on personal goals of group members and the tasks at hand (an analytical approach), whereas influential East Asian leaders focus on relationships among group members and meeting the demands of the people around them (a holistic approach). The Ethics of Behaving Politically Although there are no clear-cut ways to differentiate ethical from unethical politicking, there are some questions you should consider. For example, what is the utility of engaging in politicking? Sometimes we engage in political behavior for little good reason. Major league baseball player Al Martin claimed he played football at USC when in fact he never did. As a baseball player, he had little to gain by pretending to have played football. Outright lies like this may be a rather extreme example of impression management, but many of us have distorted information to make a favorable impression. One thing to keep in mind is whether it’s really worth the risk. Another question to ask is this: How does the utility of engaging in the political behavior balance out any harm (or potential harm) it will do to others? Complimenting a supervisor on his or her appearance in order to curry favor is probably much less harmful than grabbing credit for a project that others deserve. Finally, does the political activity conform to standards of equity and justice? Sometimes it is difficult to weigh the costs and benefits of a political action, but its ethicality is clear. The department head who inflates the performance evaluation of a favored employee and deflates the evaluation of a disfavored employee—and then uses these evaluations to justify giving the former a big raise and nothing to the latter—has treated the disfavored employee unfairly. Unfortunately, powerful people can become very good at explaining self-serving behaviors in terms of the organization’s best interests. They can persuasively argue that unfair actions are really fair and just. Our point is that immoral people can justify almost any behavior. Those who are powerful, articulate, and persuasive are most vulnerable to ethical lapses because they are likely to be able to get away with unethical practices successfully. When faced with an ethical dilemma regarding organizational politics, try to consider whether playing politics is worth the risk and whether others might be harmed in the process. If you have a strong power base, recognize the ability of power to corrupt. Remember that it’s a lot easier for the powerless to act ethically, if for no other reason than they typically have very little political discretion to exploit. Mapping Your Political Career One of the most useful ways to think about power and politics is in terms of your own career. Think about your career in your organization of choice. What are your ambitions? Who has the power to help you get there? What is your relationship with these people? The best way to answer these questions is with a political map, which can help you sketch out your relationships with the people upon whom your career depends. Power and politics are a part of organizational life. To decide not to play is deciding not to be effective. Better to be explicit about it with a political map than to proceed as if power and politics didn’t matter. Summary and Implications for Managers Few employees relish being powerless in their job and organization. People respond differently to the various power bases. Expert and referent power are derived from an individual’s personal qualities. In contrast, coercion, reward, and legitimate power are essentially organizationally derived. Competence especially appears to offer wide appeal, and its use as a power base results in high performance by group members. An effective manager accepts the political nature of organizations. Some people are significantly more politically astute than others, meaning that they are aware of the underlying politics and can manage impressions. Those who are good at playing politics can be expected to get higher performance evaluations and, hence, larger salary increases and more promotions than the politically naïve or inept. The politically astute are also likely to exhibit higher job satisfaction and be better able to neutralize job stressors. Specific implications for managers are below: To maximize your power, you will want to increase others’ dependence on you. You can, for instance, increase your power in relation to your boss by developing knowledge or a skill she needs and for which she perceives no ready substitute. You will not be alone in attempting to build your power bases. Others, particularly employees and peers, will be seeking to increase your dependence on them, while you are trying to minimize it and increase their dependence on you. The result is a continual battle. Try to avoid putting others in a position where they feel they have no power. By assessing behavior in a political framework, you can better predict the actions of others and use that information to formulate political strategies that will gain advantages for you and your work unit. Consider that employees who have poor political skills or are unwilling to play the politics game generally relate perceived organizational politics to lower job satisfaction and self-reported performance, increased anxiety, and higher turnover. Therefore, if you are adept at organizational politics, help your employees understand the importance of becoming politically savvy. Career Objectives Should I become political? My office is so political! Everyone is just looking for ways to get ahead by plotting and scheming rather than doing the job. Should I just go along with it and develop my own political strategy? — Julia Dear Julia: There’s definitely a temptation to join in when other people are behaving politically. If you want to advance your career, you need to think about social relationships and how to work with other people in a smart and diplomatic way. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in to pressure to engage in organizational politics. Of course, in many workplaces, hard work and achievement aren’t recognized, which heightens politics and lowers performance. But politics aren't just potentially bad for the company. People who are seen as political can be gradually excluded from social networks and informal communication. Coworkers can sabotage a person with a reputation for dishonesty or manipulation, so they don’t have to deal with him or her. It’s also likely that a political figure will be the direct target of revenge from those who feel they’ve been wronged. If you want to provide a positive alternative to political behavior in your workplace, there are a few steps you can take: Document your work efforts and find data to back up your accomplishments. Political behavior thrives in an ambiguous environment where standards for success are subjective and open to manipulation. The best way to shortcut politics is to move the focus toward clear, objective markers of work performance. Call out political behavior when you see it. Political behavior is, by its very nature, secretive and underhanded. By bringing politics to light, you limit this capacity to manipulate people against one another. • Try to develop a network with only those individuals who are interested in performing well together. This makes it hard for a very political person to get a lot done. On the other hand, trustworthy and cooperative people will be able to find many acquaintances who are genuinely supportive. These support networks will result in performance levels that a lone politician simply cannot match. Remember, in the long run, a good reputation can be your greatest asset! Based on: A. Lavoie “How to Get Rid of Toxic Office Politics, ” Fast Company, April 10, 2014, http://www.fastcompany.com/3028856/ work-smart/how-to-make-office-politicking-alame-duck; C. Conner, “Office Politics: MustYou Play?” Forbes, April 14, 2013, http:// www.forbes.com/sites/cherylsnappconner/2013/04/14/office-politics-must- you play-a-handbook-for-survival success/; and J. A. Colquitt and J. B. Rodell “Justice, Trust, and Trustworthiness: A Longitudinal Analysis Integrating Three Theoretical Perspectives, ” Academy of Management Journal 54 (2011):1183–206. Myth or Science? “Powerful Leaders Keep Their (Fr)Enemies Close” This statement appears to be true. We all have heard the term “frenemies” to describe friends who are also rivals, or people who act like friends but secretly dislike each other. Some observers have argued that frenemies are increasing at work due to the “abundance of very close, intertwined relationships that bridge people’s professional and personal lives.” Keeping enemies close may be one reason why Barack Obama appointed Hillary Clinton secretary of state after their bitter battle for the presidency. Or, in the business world, why one entrepreneur decided not to sue a former college classmate who, after working for her start-up as a consultant, took that knowledge and started his own, competing company. Is it really wise to keep your enemies close? And, if so, why? New research suggests answers to these questions. Three experimental studies found individuals chose to work in the same room as their rival, even when instructed that they would probably perform better apart; sit closer to rivals when working together; and express an explicit preference to be closer to the rival. The researchers further found that the primary reason for the “being closer” effect was the desire to monitor the rival’s behavior and performance. The researchers also found that the “keeping enemies closer” effect was strong under certain conditions – when the individual was socially dominant, when the individual felt more competition from the team member, and when rewards and ability to serve as leader were dependent on their performance. These results suggest that the concept of frenemies is very real and that we choose to keep our rivals close so we can keep an eye on the competition they bring. Sources: M. Thompson, “How to Work with Your Startup Frenemies, ” VentureBeat (December 22, 2012), downloaded May 9, 2013, from http://venturebeat.com/; and on May 9, 2013. N. L. Mead and J. K. Maner, “On Keeping Your Enemies Close: Powerful Leaders Seek Proximity to Ingroup Power Threats, ” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 102 (2012), pp. 576–-591. Class Exercise Divide the class into paired teams of three to five students each. Ask the students to read two articles on frememies – the first on the notion of China as a frenemy of the United States, and the second on the frenemy aspect of college rivalries. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2013/05/03/frenemy-china-helping-american-job-market/ http://www.forbes.com/sites/specialfeatures/2013/07/29/college-frenemies-real-rivalry-or-just-friendly-competition/ Using these articles as a starting point, ask each team to develop an argument on the benefits and drawbacks of having frenemies. Students should present their ideas to the class. Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as BlackBoard 9.1, Breeze, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. An Ethical Choice How Much Should You Manage Interviewer Impressions? Almost everyone agrees that dressing professionally, highlighting previous accomplishments, and expressing interest in the job are reasonable impression management tactics to improve your presentation in an interview. Strategies like flattering the interviewer and using positive nonverbal cues like smiling and nodding are also often advised. Is there an upside to such impression management? Research generally shows there is. The more effort applicants put into highlighting their skills, motivation, and admiration for the organization, the more likely they are to be hired. A recent study in Taiwan examined this relationship, finding that interviewers saw applicants who talked confidently about their qualifications as a better fit for the job and applicants who said positive things about the organization as a better fit for the organization. Positive nonverbal cues improved interviewer moods, which also improved the applicant’s ratings. Despite evidence that making an effort to impress an interviewer can pay off, you can go too far. Evidence that a person misrepresented their qualifications in the hiring process is usually grounds for immediate termination. Even “white lies” are a problem if they create unfounded expectations. For example, if you noted you managed budgets in the past when all you were doing was tracking expenses, you lack skills your boss will expect you to have. When you fail to deliver, it will look very bad for you. However, if you describe your experience more accurately but note your desire to learn, the company will know you need additional training and that you'll need a bit of extra time. So what does an ethical, effective interview strategy entail? The key is to find a positive but truthful way to manage impressions. Don’t be afraid to let an employer know about your skills and accomplishments, and be sure to show your enthusiasm for the job. At the same time, keep your statements as accurate as possible, and be careful not to overstate your abilities. In the long run, you’re much more likely to be happy and successful in a job where both you and the interviewer can honestly assess it. Sources: C. Chen & M. Lin, “The Effect of Applicant Impression Management Tactics on Hiring Recommendations: Cognitive and Affective Processes, ”Applied Psychology: An International Review 63, no. 4, (2014):698–724; J. Levashina, C. J. Hartwell, F. P. Morgeson, & M. A. Campion “The Structured Employment Interview: Narrative and Quantitative Review of the Research Literature, ”Personal Psychology, Spring 2014, 241–93; and M. Nemko, “The Effective, Ethical, and Less Stressful Job Interview, ”Psychology Today, March 25, 2014, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-dolife/201503/the-effective-ethical-and-lessstressful-job-interview. Personal Inventory Assessments Gaining Power and Influence Do you like power and influence? Take this PIA to learn more about gaining both. Point/Counterpoint Everyone Wants Power Point We don’t want to admit to everything we want. For instance, one psychologist found people would seldom admit to wanting money, but they thought everyone else wanted it. They were half right – everyone wants money. And everyone wants power. Harvard psychologist David McClelland was justifiably famous for his study of underlying motives. McClelland would measure people’s motivation for power from his analysis of how people described pictures (called the Thematic Apperception Test, or TAT). Why didn’t he simply ask people how much they wanted power? Because he believed that many more people really wanted power than would admit it, or even consciously realize. And that is exactly what he found. Why do we want power? Because it is good for us. It gives us more control over our own lives. It gives us more freedom to do as we wish. There are few things worse in life than feeling helpless, and few better than feeling in charge of your destiny. Research shows people with power and status command more respect from others, have higher self-esteem (no surprise there), and enjoy better health than those of less stature. Take Steve Cohen, founder of SAC Capital Advisors and one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. Worth $11.1 billion, Cohen buys Picassos, lives in a mansion, has white-gloved butlers, and travels the world first class. People will do almost anything to please him, or to even get near him. One writer notes, “Inside his offices, vast fortunes are won and lost. Careers are made and unmade. Type A egos are inflated and crushed, sometimes in the space of hours.” All of this is bad for Steve Cohen, how? Usually, people who tell you power doesn’t matter are those who have no hope of getting it. Wanting power, like being jealous, can be one of those secrets people just won’t admit to. Counterpoint Of course it is true that some people desire power - and often behave ruthlessly to get it. For most of us, however, power is not high on our list of priorities, and for some, it’s actually undesirable. Research shows that most individuals feel uncomfortable when placed in powerful positions. One study asked individuals, before they began work in a four-person team, to “rank, from 1 (highest) to 4 (lowest), in terms of status and influence within the group, would you like to achieve.” You know what? Only about one-third (34 percent) of participants chose the highest rank. In a second study, researchers studied employees participating in Amazon’s Mechanical Turk online service. They found that the main reason people wanted power was to earn respect. If they could get respect without gaining power, that was preferred. In a third study, the authors found that individuals desired power only when they had high ability – in other words, when their influence helped their groups. These studies suggest that we often confuse the desire for power with other things—like the desire to be respected and to help our groups and organizations succeed. In these cases, power is something most of us seek for more benevolent ends—and only in cases when we think it does good. Another study confirmed that most people want respect from their peers, not power. Cameron Anderson, the author of this research, sums it up nicely: “You don’t have to be rich to be happy, but instead be a valuable contributing member to your groups, ” he comments. “What makes a person high in status in a group is being engaged, generous with others, and making self-sacrifices for the greater good.” Oh, and about Stevie Cohen…you realize that he pleaded guilty and paid a $1.2 billion fine for failing to prevent insider trading and then had to shut down SAC, right? Sources: B. Burrough and B. McLean, “The Hunt for Steve Cohen, ” Vanity Fair, June 2013, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/ business/2013/06/steve-cohen-insider-trading-case; C. Anderson, R. Willer, G. J. Kilduff, and C. E. Brown, “The Origins of Deference: When Do People Prefer Lower Status?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 102 (2012): 1077–88; C. Anderson, M. W Kraus, A. D. Galinsky, and D. Keltner, “The Local-Ladder Effect: Social Status and Subjective Well-Being, ” Psychological Science 23(7) (2012): 764–71; S. Kennelly, “Happiness Is about Respect, Not Riches, ” Greater Good, July 13, 2012, http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/happiness _is_about_respect_not_riches; and P. Lattman and B. Protess, “$1.2 Billion Fine for Hedge Fund SAC Capital in Insider Case, ” The New York Times Dealbook, November 4, 2013, http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/11/04/sac-capital-agrees-to-plead-guilty-to-insider-trading/?_r=0. Class Exercise Divide the class into paired teams of three to five students. Ask students to identify several business leaders whom they believe are very powerful. Then ask students to identify the similarities among these leaders. Next, students should identify the type(s) of power these leaders have, and discuss what their responses tell them about the leaders. Finally, ask students to discuss which side the of point/counterpoint debate their leaders would probably support, and why. Teaching Notes This exercise is applicable to face-to-face classes or synchronous online classes such as BlackBoard 9.1, Breeze, WIMBA, and Second Life Virtual Classrooms. See http://www.baclass.panam.edu/imob/SecondLife for more information. Instructor Manual for Organizational Behavior Timothy A. Judge Stephen P. Robbins 9781292146300, 9780133507645, 9780136124016

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