Un-demonizing Office Politics

The results of a recent survey undertaken among senior managers covering a diverse range of organizations reported that the newer and innovative ideas, which managers keep coming up with, are generally frowned upon by the key decision-makers and bosses of that organization due to their hesitance towards change.

It was also revealed that in many cases, higher authority even shot down ideas with the old-fashioned “I am the boss” attitude, with no further explanation offered. It is not surprising therefore, when managers describe Organizational Politics with words such as secrecy, lobbying and spin.

Within six months of executing the change, 80 per cent of the managers conceded that their greater knowledge of self-interest was of direct use in effectively managing the higher decision making authorities. They also acknowledged that political motives was inevitable and was crucial to their growth. Around 95 per cent thought that managing political behavior was a central proponent to manage change, personal competence, and loss of face and status.

People who participated in this analysis were a small sample of those managers with whom the researchers had worked over the last five years. A large part of this work has focused on enabling these managers to have a demanding perspective of the rational model, and training them on the importance of constructive political action.

Un-demonizing Politics

While working from a political perspective, these activities become a crucial part of management, whatever perspective one uses. Sometimes, managers are bound to be engaged in Office Politics for the organization, even against their better judgement. Learning about the centrality of politics to handling is the base for noticing personal interests as a way of encouragement to get things achieved.

In order to manage the Centrality of Politics to Organizations first, we need to think of Organizational politics as central to all important organizational activity. The most important thing was to change the definition of politics for these managers. They now rationally perceive office politics as “Group Dynamics”, where competing and collective interest groups with differing perspectives are united, change is acknowledged, strategy is formulated and so on.

Thus, politics is the deliberate attempts made by people individually and groups in organizations to use power for their own particular interests. As shared interests are of managing and controlling, managers engaged in this process actively participate in this continual process of political positioning. This includes them tempting by unofficial ways like lobbying and behind the scenes alliance building.

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