Managing Power through Lateral Networking

Managing Power through Lateral Networking

Managing Power through Lateral Networking

Managing Power through Lateral Networking


The implementation of new ideas in organizations is often hampered by the political dynamics of lateral relationships. The authors of this book offer a balance of theory and cases designed to give managers and executives strategies for dealing with power relationships in an effective way. This book highlights common mistakes people make in managing lateral relationships. Most problems concern misunderstandings about the political realities that arise from underlying power distribution inherent in any organization. The authors offer a roadmap based on real-life dilemmas faced by both new and seasoned managers in order to help solve seemingly unsolvable problems. Using ideas from the resource-dependence paradigm they also model and diagram lateral relationships in a way that allows for effective plans of action. Managers, executives, and MBA students will find this synthesis of theory and practice an important tool for building a model for success.


Have you ever proposed a good idea to your boss, which he initially rejected, but then watched it being implemented later, while you miss getting the credit? Or have you had a wonderful idea to change work processes that for one reason or another failed miserably from the moment you presented your concept? Have you scratched your head, wondering why? If so, this book is for you.

Why do good ideas in firms get passed over so easily? That is the wrong question. A better question to ask is, "Why do smart people with good ideas have such a problem getting things done?" This book is about smart people resolving dilemmas getting things done in their organizations. No doubt you are smart. Of course you have already attended every training program offered by your firm. You probably already have your M.B.A. under your belt or are working on it. You are talented, intelligent, and highly skilled, yet your latest smart idea fell like a lead balloon at your last presentation.

Great ideas fail not because the ideas are academic or trivial. Nor are the people who construct them stupid, lazy, or insipid. Generally, great ideas are constructed by highly intelligent, trained people who know what they are doing. Their ideas result from months of analysis, planning, ingenuity, and creative smarts. These are not fly-by-night ideas. But, nonetheless, they fail.

We have been solving the '"unsolveable" problems of managers and technical experts cumulatively for about thirty-five years. We are consultants and M.B.A. educators, and thus write this book with both a pragmatic outlook as well as a theoretical basis. The research data from which we draw our case studies are based on the experiences of more . . .

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