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ORGANIZATIONAL POLITICS This piece consists heavily of quotations from an a aptations of material from several sources !

see references at the en "# There still may $e some unreference quotations $ecause I have lost trac% of their &enesis over many years of movin& content throu&h various notes# I on = t claim ori&inality' other than the choice an or&ani(in& of material ) Re* +itchell# Pfeffer !,--.' p#/0" efine politics as A the processes' the actions' the $ehaviors throu&h 1hich potential po1er is utili(e an reali(e #@ Another author !2u$rin' .00,' p#,-." efine or&ani(ational politics as A informal approaches to &ainin& po1er throu&h means other than merit or luc%#@ It coul $e ar&ue that politics are use primarily to achieve po1er' either irectly or in irectly' e#&#' $y $ein& promote ' receivin& a lar&er $u &et or other resources' or &ainin& esira$le assi&nments# +any people re&ar or&ani(ational politics as somethin& ne&ative !e#&#' pursuin& self)interests at the e*pense of others" an somethin& to $e minimi(e # Consequently' althou&h most people %no1 that or&ani(ational politics are common' they avoi sayin& so 1hen it concerns one = s o1n $ehavior# It is more common to tal% a$out politics 1hen complainin& a$out a loss to a frien than it is in the conte*t of one3s o1n political maneuverin&# 4hen 1e 1in on an issue' 1e call it lea ership5 1hen 1e lose' 1e call it politics# In many or&ani(ations' politics is a ta$oo su$6ect' 1hich ma%es it ifficult for in ivi uals to eal 1ith this crucially important aspect of or&ani(ational reality# I $elieve a lea er must s%illfully use or&ani(ational politics to acquire an retain po1er an to accomplish ma6or &oals# Therefore' it 1oul $e a mista%e to preten that politics oes not e*ist or to fantasi(e that a lea er can $e effective 1ithout appropriate !an ethical' I 1oul a " use of politics# As Pericles 1rote over .700 years a&o' 89ust $ecause you o not ta%e an interest in politics oesn3t mean politics 1on3t ta%e an interest in you#8 I re&ar or&ani(ational politics as neither &oo nor $a ' per se' althou&h it is important for us to istin&uish $et1een ethical an unethical political $ehavior# :ACTORS CONTRI;<TING TO POLITICAL ;=>A?IOR IN ORGANIZATIONS !+or&an' ,-@A' p#,B." It is useful to remem$er that in its ori&inal meanin&' the i ea of politics stems from the vie1 that' 1here interests are iver&ent' society shoul provi e a means of allo1in& in ivi uals to reconcile their ifferences throu&h consultation an ne&otiation# In ancient Greece' Aristotle a vocate politics as a means of reconcilin& the nee for unity in the Gree% polis !city) state" 1ith the fact that the polis 1as an 8a&&re&ate of many mem$ers#8 Politics' for him' provi e a means of creatin& or er out of iversity 1hile avoi in& forms of totalitarian rule# Political science an many systems of &overnment have $uilt on this $asic i ea' a vocatin& politics' an the reco&nition an interplay of competin& interests that politics implies' as a means of creatin& a non)) coercive form of social or er# !SourceC" Or&ani(ational politics are a natural result of the fact that people thin% ifferently an 1ant to act ifferently# This iversity creates a tension that must $e resolve throu&h political means# There are many 1ays in 1hich this can $e one' for e*ampleD autocratically !84e3ll o it this 1ay8"5 $ureaucratically !84e3re suppose to o it this 1ay8"5 technocratically !8It3s $est to o it this 1ay8"5 or emocratically !8>o1 shall 1e o itC8"# In each case the choice $et1een alternative paths of action usually hin&es on the po1er relations $et1een the actors involve # !+or&an' p#,B@" An or&ani(ation3s politics is most clearly manifest in the conflicts an po1er plays that sometimes occupy center sta&e' an in the countless interpersonal intri&ues that provi e iversions in the flo1 of or&ani(ational activity# Politics occurs on an on&oin& $asis' often in a 1ay that is invisi$le to all $ut those irectly involve #