Magazine article USA TODAY

Company Politics Are Counterproductive

Magazine article USA TODAY

Company Politics Are Counterproductive

Article excerpt

The competitive politics practiced in the workplace are taking their toll on businesses. In a poll conducted for Accountemps, a temporary staffing service for accounting, finance, and information technology, executives said they waste an average of 20% of their time dealing with company politics.

"Politics are an inherent part of the corporate culture," notes Bob Half, founder of Accountemps. "In a competitive environment, there will always be some people who try to advance their careers by using subversive tactics to manipulate or influence others. Company 'yes-men,' for example, who are more concerned with self-promotion than fulfilling company goals, can create a great deal of conflict."

Not all maneuvering within an organization is negative: "Being 'political' can mean getting someone to see your point of view, or being diplomatic toward others in the company. Negative company politics are often the result of internal pressures, especially when businesses demand unreasonable levels of productivity. External factors, such as advances by competitors and industry downcycles, which can lead to job insecurity, also contribute to a politically charged atmosphere. …

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