Organizational Power Politics: Tactics in Organizational Leadership

By Gilbert W. Fairholm | Go to book overview

Introduction

The study of power as part of organizational political action by all stakeholders is an emerging field of interest aimed at improving individual leadership and overall organizational effectiveness. All participants in the group--regardless of kind of organization--have and use power; men and women, superiors, peers, and subordinates. Men and women emphasize somewhat different ways to use power, as do subordinates when compared to superiors or peers. Group member success regardless of group is dependent on the appropriateness of the particular power tactic(s) used in their political dynamics with others in the group.

The perspective taken in this book is practical in the sense that the orientation is toward applied power use by individuals associated through organizational relationships. The locus is, of course, the group--an organization characterized by unique culture, values, and mores. The centerpiece of this book is a grouping of twenty-two specific power tactics people use in varying contexts to gain their objectives. These tactics are typical of internal political action seen in the social groups and organizational units--the interpersonal relationships--in which we all operate.


THE IMPORTANCE OF POWER IN
ORGANIZATIONAL LIFE

Power is a part of all organized behavior. Organizational power politics permeates all organizational action. Using power is valuable to us as a means to achieve some desired future action in others. It is instrumental; that is, people use power as an aid to achieve their intended results. We use power to achieve

-xvii-

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