Organizational politics is a routine fact of our organizational and group life. Based on power, it is ubiquitous in our social relationships. There is some theory to guide us in using power in sociological and political arenas. But little is available to guide us in terms of using power in organizational politics. Unfortunately, research and theory building in this kind of operational usage of power is in its infancy. A few attractive concepts have evolved that have been described and in a few rare cases tried out in practice. In the last decade, especially, a spate of studies has been written on power use in organizational situations and in leadership ( Fairholm, 1985, 1991).
This book pulls together some of this research about power and the specific tactics we use, or can use, in office (organizational) politics. Primarily, however, the data upon which the power tactics described in this book are derived come from practitioners. The research methodology employed was analysis of descriptive statistics from more than one hundred detailed questionnaires completed by members of a variety of complex organizations. These data were coupled with in-depth analysis of case studies of specific instances of power use. Analysis of power-tactic use by individuals, the coworker targets of this usage, and the results reported form the basis for conclusions drawn in the various parts of this book.
Using commonly accepted survey techniques coupled with interview and observational data, the author surveyed a variety of individuals in several types of