Organizational Behaviour

What exactly does organizational politics mean to you?   Is it “good” or “bad”?   And why?

Good or bad, organizational politics is part of today’s working culture.   For me organizational politics is about an individual’s approach to progressing in an organization and adapting to change.

As stated by McShane and Sheen, organizational politics is based on another persons perception and organizational politics increase when the organization experiences a significant change.
The approach of that change is key to ensuring organizational politics don’t take a negative impact on moral and employee engagement.

As McShane and Sheen described various influence strategies the question of is organizational politics good or bad, in my opinion is best is identified through hard versus soft tactics.
Hard tactics rely on power, which many employees resist.   Such power tactics may result in mistrust, decrease motivation and damage relationships.   If employees feel they are being forced to change behaviour or adapt to a new policy or procedure they are more likely not to embrace this change.   Behaviours of these employees could be denial, defiance, arguing or disengagement.   Clearly, not a work environment that as a leader I would encourage.

Soft tactics are far more successful when influencing others.   This tactic involves focusing on what the benefit is to the employee to the proposed change.   When an employee has the ‘buy in’ they are more likely to commit to reach the end goal and are motivated throughout the process.
Both hard and soft tactics can be equally effective depending on such factors such as the ‘status’ or ‘level’ of the person being influenced, organizational, cultural and personal values.

Applying relevant OB theory, what do you see - as a manager or leader - as the specific advantages and disadvantages of using political behaviour, or organizational politics, in getting work done?

While organizational politics is often thought of as a negative...