Organizational Politics, Justice, and Support: Managing the Social Climate of the Workplace

By Russell S. Cropanzano; K. Michele Kacmar | Go to book overview

4
How Politics Can Destructure Human Resources Management in the Interest of Empowerment, Support, and Justice

Robert L. Dipboye

There are increasing societal, ethical, economic, and legal pressures on organizations to provide work environments that are not only productive but also supportive, fair, and empowering. The attempt to promote a more humane and satisfying organization can conflict with rational approaches to staffing, appraisal, compensation, and training that are advocated by researchers and theorists in human resources management (HRM). The rational approach is to design a program around the crucial knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAS) in the job, subject the program to rigorous empirical evaluation, and then retain, discard, or modify the program on the basis of a careful analysis of its utility to the organization. Once the most effective program is identified through research, it is implemented in a uniform fashion and modified as needed on the basis of subsequent evaluation. It is ironic, however, that while rational HRM practices appear effective in terms of their accuracy, reliability, and validity, decision makers can perceive them as hindering attempts to promote a supportive, fair, and empowering organizational climate. As a consequence, decision makers resort to political behavior in which they destructure HRM procedures to provide support, justice, and empowerment.


INTRODUCTION

Human resources management has become a crucial part of the strategies that organizations are using to cope with a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive global economy. The HRM practices that are prescribed in an organization, however, are often not the same as those that are enacted ( Jackson & Schuler, 1995). When prescribed HRM practices clash

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