This application is about understanding and handling. Its aim is to identify issues related to «organizational choice», that would otherwise be missed.
Political activities (as distinct from ) within organizations are discussed in a later section.
The Tree developed in this section is not a Framework for management decisions, nor is it a Framework for participation of staff. Management-based Frameworks must be developed from the challenges that any organization must face as part of achievement. These frameworks for organising and managing are found in other Satellites.
Problems labelled «
Power-seeking is the source of problematic political activity in any large group that commands wealth. Businesses are intrinsically steeped in power because of their inherent competitiveness and the possibility of failure. Government agencies are steeped in power because of their link to society’s politics.
Organizational life differs from ordinary communal life, because work reveals differential benefits. Relevant factors include:
As a result, all of human experience and frailty can manifest at work, and often does. Organizations develop a fertile froth of struggling groups—cliques, cabals, circles, factions—within which ambition, mistakes, humiliation, arrogance, superiority, inferiority, loyalty and solidarity are rife. This must be handled positively and pro-actively.
Most experts recognize politics exists but see it in terms of individual agendas or of «self-interest being placed ahead of the organization’s goals». This view is both misleading and wrong. It is a mis-statement of the dynamic duality that pervades any organization. In any case, self-interest must come first (as explained below).
See definitions from the literature with comments.
Staff form a quasi-community once a firm reaches a certain size and complexity, and politics becomes unavoidable. In small firms ... sub-grouping can be minimal and staff may feel unified, but even here power differentials are liable to be applied.
Staff members (as individuals) have personal goals and social needs that they must gratify at work to some degree to be maximally productive; and there is a variety of distinct sub-groups that must cohere and cooperate to realize organizational goals. In political terms, the sub-groups become factions.
As a result, power struggles develop amongst sub-groups and ambitious individuals i.e. individuals count in organizations while in society, they do not.
The dynamic duality to energize the various Centres changes from social v private to:
Organizational = official, institutional, authoritative, managerial, bureaucratic.
Personal = private, professional, emergent, creative, motivated.
The Organizational Centre necessarily dominates at . However, the Personal Centre necessarily dominates at , because a person may be dismissed, possibly unfairly or arbitrarily, or the company may collapse.
When a person leaves, attention and energy previously given towill be of little avail. A person must of necessity fall back on their own resources. If personal strength has been systematically neglected, the situation could become serious and damaging for the individual.
The target of Government Solutions as the focus. In political battles, the goal is to ensure that any management choice favours (or at least does not disadvantage) the interests of a particular individual or faction. This goal naturally conflicts with thoughtfully determined choices to meet organizational goals.in an organization is any decision made by management. So «Management Decisions» replaces
Originally posted: July 2009; Last updated: 12 June 2014.