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Influence power, politics and control

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Politics
Wordcount: 3713 words Published: 21st Apr 2017

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Critically discuss and identify the influence power, politics and control have on the management of performance

First of all discuss the theories of power, politics and control and what they are understood to be, drawing on the relevant reference. Also discuss the different approaches and what the advantages and disadvantages may be. Before discussing how the different perspectives may effect performance of the individuals and organisation, identify what is meant by performance.


The assessment is taken from the “managing and leading people” module. In this module we have learn lot of things about the management. We learned the concept, process, and practice of managing and leading people and process within the organization. Module has cleared all our concepts about the management performance, organizational values and leadership.

On very first day our module leader divided us in the PALS group of five members. And that was also big opportunity for students to learn more. Because all students belonged from different cultures. In PALS when every member of the group give their own different opinions then it create a cause to get different ideas from each other. Due to the participation of every member in the group we have learned more things and get different ideas about the final assessment of this subject.

Four questions were given in this assessment through which we have to complete one question with full knowledge. And I have selected power, politics and control as I defined below every thing about this question.

Power, politics and control

Power and politics

In the business modern world power and politics are to big extent to determine the growth of the organizations and also for the stability and continual success of the company. As power and politics is to relate with the management and the leadership of the organization. Power and politics are the two main elements which use in the company these are can be either cause of downfall or success of the company. The organizational management and leadership practices totally depend on the power and politics. Organizational power and politics involves resources, money, people, time and authority. Power is established by social responsibilities, behaviour, organizational culture, and behaviour and management teams. And politics is concerned with culture into the organization, personal structure, and managerial positions. Personal values.

Definition of power

There are numbers of definitions have been written by authors and many of these definitions which apply that power is very much necessary and it is a individual attribute, some of these are following

The capability to modify the conduct of other individuals or groups in proper ways which they wish and without having to modify their own conduct in a proper ways or in manners which they do not wish. (TAWENY 1931, P229)

If two persons A or B doing work in the organization and both have power but one person A have much power as compare to other person B then person A can get the B to do something that B would not otherwise do. (DAHL 1957 P 203)

Power is the ability to get others to change their behaviour even if they do not wish to do so (French and Raven, 1960)

The ability to influence people toward organizational objectives” (US Navy, n.d)

The origins basses or source of power

The bases of power are divided onto different attributes.

To know about the knowledge of the power about its use in the first stage is identify that some individuals and groups have more power then others why it is. Power rottenly comes from several sources at the same time and some of these sources are located within and individual or groups some sources comes from the nature of the organization and some other sources may be arise from the situations.

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The interpersonal basis of the power

Several different scheme has been suggested that sources of power should be divided into different parts but according to French and Raven’s (1959) five basis of power; the original scheme only gives the ideas about these bases but some sources derived from the power holder positions and some others sources derived from the personal characteristics these are divided into two groups.

The origins/ sources or bases of power

There are different parts in the organizational origins like

  1. Reward power
  2. Coercive power
  3. Legitimate power
  4. Expert power
  5. Referent power

Reward power

Someone who handle the distribution of rewards to other people he has some special power then other people, because he’s providing the value and rewards to others. the more formally structured an organization the more likely it is that this type of power will be limited by rules, for instance, supervisor may be have only authority to make recommendations about increased rewards for the subordinators, but the main and actual decision is the prerogative of a higher level manger. The use of reward power is also affected by informal custom and practice arrangements.

Coercive power

Coercive power is the totally different from the reward power. Coercive power is the ability to inflict punishment which means to force someone to do something against his wish. Coercive power is possibly physical harm but some time other threats could be used but its main purposes compliance. Coercive power is the power of dictators, financial, expert and personnel. Examples of coercive power are all governments. Although mostly it is use as negative but also it is often seen to keep the peace. For children’s who know no better about any thing parents used the coercive power

Legitimate power

Legitimate power is the formal rank or role which means resources; knowledge, technical skills and access to others.Legtimacy power come from coercive power or higher power. Examples of legitimate power are Kings, policemen and managers. These people have the legitimate power because obey them because of their position not by their personality. When they fall from their position people do no do so. An example this kind of power could be the authority that a manger holds over a subordinate or that a teacher has over a student (Ed. Allison McClinitic Marion and Gale Cengage,2006)

Expert power

Expert power is the power of superior knowledge and skills. When a person has strong knowledge and skills that someone as requires then he has expert power. Like; if a person has strong knowledge about any thing then he can get the better level as compare to those who don’t have much power like doctors. This form of power is very common power. Examples of expert power are specialist engineers and trade unions. These all use this power to get benefits and when they want to maintain their selves.

Referent Power:

“if like the person and enjoy doing things for him is a referent power.”

Referent power is the power when people want to be like you, your attributes and trades. The most common Examples of referent powers are celebrities and social leaders. When social leaders or celebrities come in any place in the front of the public then public like them and wants some miracles through they can get the personality just like them. Due to referent power people use this power in negative sense and some time they use their power in positive sense like; the social leader can use his power any where to protect his self from others and could give order to any one for any work. That is why some time people feel fear due to this. “power that arises because of a person’s desirable resources or personal traits” (Robbins and Coulter,2007)

Three dimensions of power

There are three dimensions of power.


There are three different channels of power in which power is enacted

Physical power

Physically power is the power of strength or skills. Individually; physically powers come from having weapons.

informational power

Informational power comes from knowledge it often comes from the control of access to information

Emotional power

Emotional power is the social power of affect using emotion and body language


Intent means in which sense the power is used. There are two ways of power in which it is used

Positive power

Positive power is used for good purpose and it does not harm.

Negative power

This kind of power is used to harm others or other negative emotions.


There are two triggers of power which lead to power being used

Reactive power

Reactive power is use in the response to situations

Proactive power

Proactive power used consciously. For example; using physically strength to attack someone.

Use of power

Uses of power






Do no harm

Open book
Allow access

Respond to calls for help


Allow harm

Do not inform
Deny access

Reject calls




Inform, teach
Warn of danger



Do harm

Withhold information
Blackmail, deceive


This table shows the uses of power by understanding channels and sources of power in which these are used either these are physical, informational or emotional.

Critical analysis

Power can use be in both ways it can be use in a useful way or it can be misuse for example; if there is personal clashes between manager and subordinates so he can misuse the power. And if there are good relations between manager and subordinates then power can be use in the right ways. Suppose if a person has power then he can implement any rules on the subordinates. For example; by implementing reward power it also can be used in the both ways. reward power can be use in the positive sense or also can be use in the wrong ways. Like; if a worker or employee is working in organization for last ten years and he is performing his tasks very well and also working for the prosperity of the organization. Then he deserved for the reward because of his performance so manger has to give him reward due to his personality or his performance which he performed in the organization. Manger will give him reward manger can increase his salary or up grade his level. In this way reward power is using in the proper ways or using in the positive sense. In case if that person who is doing work in the organization since last ten years has any personal clashes with manger and he deserve for the reward and due to personal clashes manger do not want to give him reward in such situations rewards power is using in negative ways.

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Power related with performance

In case power is using in the negative ways then it directly effect on the performance of the subordinates. by putting the example of expert power. Like; if an engineer doing work in the organization and has strong knowledge about his field and he has ability to performing his tasks in the proper ways. Then he deserves to get more benefits from the organization. For example; salary, rewards. But due to personal clashes with the manger he can not get his desires which he deserve. Then the subordinate will leave the organization and also leave his work. And then if he does job in another organization he can not perform very well also can not show his abilities or skills which he have. And if power used in the proper ways or in the positive sense then performance could be well.

Organizational politics

Thereare two parts of politics in the organization. One part of the organizational politics includes the person who has work in his hand of an individual to get those employees who do his work in proper ways and also act as the desires of that person who has authority or who has work in hand. And the other part of the organizational politics is the like a game which negotiation and work together with resistance to the manipulator.(Clarke,1990)

Definition of politics

The concise English dictionary (1984) includes as “prudent and sagacious as well as crafty, scheming and artful”. This implies politics as having both well meaning characteristics in addition to another more sinister side. Political process tends to take place in democracies where no single body has absolute power.

Involves those activities taken organizations to acquire, develop and use power and other resources to obtain one’s preferred outcomes in a situation where there is uncertainty or descensus about choices. (Pfeffer 1981)

Mayes and Allen(1997) define politics as” the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organization or to obtain sanctioned ends through nonsanctioned influence means”

Politics is using power to influence others’ decisions to benefit oneself (Daft,2007)

Factors giving rise to political behaviour

Individual factors

Individual factor can play a Vitol role to supporting the political activities, and people with definite personality attribute seem to have a far higher partiality to play politics. People with an dictatorial personality often like high risk conditions and are sometimes ready statesman who are quite impulsive in their use of politics ( Meyer and Rowan 1977)

Organizational factors

in the organizational factor the problem with taking only personal attribute is that while they tell us which people are the more disposed users of the politics his says nothing about the any situations that give an chance to take with political tactics into play. Some times there is require to look further the person and clarify the situations in which political behaviour is most predominant; such situations can be derived from the worker of miles(1980) and Robbins (1996)

Ambiguous goals

In the most of the organizations specifically at higher levels there is generally some vagueness about goals. Like; goals such as increase the shares of the market or introduce new markets. But do not have exact ideas what should to achieved. This kind of the ambiguity can be used to vindicate any course of action that could be for the personal gain clearly by saying that it will help to obtain the goal.

Scarce resources

In the organization when organization distribute resources in an organization then some of the employees of the organization get every thing which they want especially when the reductions are in the progress. Due to such situations it creates the conditions of the looser and the winners in the organizations. Then looser try to get the legal shares which he deserved.

Technological and environment

When any organization produce some major changes like; technology then the uncertainty of the organization increase. And it gives an enormous chance to engage in manoeuvres that are planed to make large or conserve the power foundations of individuals and groups.

Non- programmed decisions

In case of unexpected situations there are a few precedents to instruct how to control it by quick decisions making. These provide a very big opportunity for individual to get his or her of the condition taken as one’s own and it also help to increase expert power.

Organizational change

In case when there is need to make a change in the organization then it also provide opportunity for individuals to perform their abilities and show their skills in front of the organizations.

Advantages and disadvantages of politics in the organization

There are certain advantages and disadvantages of politics in the organization with depending on how it is used.

Like power, politics is Janus faced and, depending on how it is used, it can be a force for a good or a force for evil.(Mintzberg 1985)


Decision performing

Decision performing insured by the help of political activity

Facilitate changes

Politics helps to promote changes that could not be made otherwise.


Politics provide flexibility that helps to correct the slowness of formal methods of influence.

Individual rights

Politics protects individual rights. In politics there is free consent, free speech and privacy.


Inefficiency and time wasting

Politics activities tend to result in efficiency and time wasting because in the politics some time person take wrong decisions and this reason could create the time wasting and inefficiency.

Distorted decision making

In the politics some time due to critical situations person take wrong decisions for their own interest.

Stakeholder interest ignored

Due to politics some time individual or groups use the real power in the organization that ignores the interest of other stakeholders

Distributive justice criteria

In the politics some people can not get their rights, they can not get their desires. Because in the politics the peon who has authority of justice he prefer to give authorities to their closed persons.

Unequal power distribution

Power can be miss use if any person clashes or conflicts their between manger and subordinates

Individual rights ignored

By implementing rules and regulations of the organization personal likes and dislikes are ignored. For example; if a person does not perform the task he can be punished under the coercive power.

Organizational control

Control play a very important role in the organization to achieve goals and objectives especially when there are different tasks to perform control helps to complete the task in appropriate sequence. There are two ways through which control can be viewed.

Hard control; it concerned with machine and equipments normally.

Soft control; it concerned with the control of people.

Some people take the meaning of word control as manipulation and use of compulsion. But control is an important factor for organizational life because organization mostly concerned with aspects control.

Definition of control

The regulation of organizational activities so that some targeted elements of performance remains within acceptable limits. (Barnet and Griffin 1992)

Control as a process;

Control is a sequence of activities that establish a process of control. There are four main elements of the process which are shown in the bellowed diagram.

First of all standards are established for performance then actual performance compared with the standards and then clearly identify any deviation from the desired standards and analysis to find out the reason for the deviation and finally a correct action is perform to bring the activity according to the required performance standard.

Control over finance manger.

As annually or half annually , appraisal methods are used to allocate the over all performance of management and if there is high expenses as compared to incomes then it shows less control or poor control and it is sing of low performance of the department.

Similarly when researcher foe analysis another department like HR department then if there is no control over development or over training and feedback procedure then it would show poor performance of the department.

Critical analysis;

In the business world power and politics, to a large scope, determined the growth, stability and continual success of the organization. As power and politics relates with management and leadership in organization. Power and the politics in the organization can either cause the downfall to the success of the company. Without power and politics it could be quite difficult for the organizations to control each and every thing which they are performing within the organizations.

Politics also can be use in the right or proper ways, or it also can be use in the negative ways. Now it is depending on the manger or that person which have authority how he uses the politics. By using politics in positive ways performance of the company could be well. Because in mostly organizations employees feel unsecure because employees have some rights in the organization. In any case by misusing the politics employee can take some wrong actions. According to ( Robbins,2005) it can be used to make decisions on problems that are unresolved or critical issue that may hamper the organization growth.

For example; due to some bad relations between the manger and subordinators it could be bad influence on the organization performance. Mostly in the organizations manger and subordinators queerly with each other and then use some politics techniques to failure others. For example;

Leg pulling

Due to clashes between manger and subordinators leg pulling to each other. Because they want any one of them should be through out from the organization. That is why they use such things. because of this performance of the company or employers effected very badly.


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