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Power & Politics In Organizations

Organizations are nurseries of Power and Politics because by the very division of labor and separation of authority, in an environment where achievement is seen as primary purpose – what naturally breeds is a sense of Competitive Rivalry. This could be true for business as well as non-business organizations as in both kind of organizations the common thread of division of labor and segregations of authority runs in source form or extent.

Despite the fact that organizations are formed and set to govern by formal administrative policies and processes, it is true that individual personalities and their psychodynamics gives the organization its own psychodynamic dimension (Michael Diamond).

Power and Politics are significant manifestation of Organization Psychodynamics. Power and Politics happen because of the differential strengths and weaknesses of Individual Competencies in organization as well as because of choice of preferential treatment of priorities based on their own needs. Most organization members overtly deny the prevailing politics in the organizations and or defend them with business logic. Their denial as well as typifying it as something unholy, cannot stop the process but makes it a strong undercurrent of covert processes.

The concept of Power lies in Compliance. Power tends to include all the methods, means, manners that is deployed to ensure that people comply the rules that have been defined. Thus, in the management world of Organization, Power is a principal concept. However, it is also seen that some organization members in their methods, means and manners to ensure compliance, deviate from the boundaries that are allowed to them by virtue of their positions and authority. This makes their power ‘illegitimate’, and is seen as ‘unauthorized’. Thus, Power seems to have become dirty and illegitimate and Authority an entity of legitimate unquestionable compliance.

If legitimacy can be created for individual actions, it greatly reduces the chance of opposition to them because it creates meaningful context in which they can be accepted and justified (Elderman, 1969, 1971).

The process of acquiring, distributing, deploying and using Power is Politics. And hence organizations are Political structures because in them governance is mainly driven by assigned authority, which mobilizes power to achieve compliance.

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