Power and Politics

Essay by sapphire24dCollege, UndergraduateB, August 2010

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�PAGE � �PAGE �6� Power and Politics

Power and politics are often considered to be integral components in the development of the organization. Where does power end and politics begin? Many individuals think that politics and power are tied together because you can not have one without the other. On the other hand politics and power are separate items, and both are needed for an organization to effectively manage its operations. Given that both of power and politics often play an extenuating role in the growth of an organization, there is a clear need to delineate the similarities that exist between these two concepts.

Power and politics in organizations are influences that are used by individuals to achieve both organizational and personal goals. Organizations are comprised of individuals working together and vying for resources, status, and position. Power and politics play significant roles in how organizational and individual goals are achieved.

Organizations have finite resources and limited budgets; therefore it is inevitable that some employees will not get everything that they want. For this reason employees often form alliances through the use of power and politics to achieve goals. Organizational power has legitimate influences that are within the realm and guidelines of the organization; in contrast, the influences of organizational politics are often well outside the scope of the organization.

According to Schermerhorn, Hunt, and Osborn (2005, p. 266) power is "…the ability to get someone to do something you want done or the ability to make things happen in the way you want them to"; and politics can be defined as "…the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or that push legal limits" (p.278). Power and politics may be separate ideologies, but both are needed within organizational development to function properly. Power is an...