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Introduction to Public Administration

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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
VU
LESSON 06
POWER AND POLITICS
At the end of the lecture the students will be able to understand the following:-
1. concept of power and politics
2. types of power and conflict
3. the importance of power in organization
The main contributors of power and politics school are:-
Harold Laswell
Robert Dhal
Antony Jay (reintroduced Machiavelli's concept of power)
This school attempts to understand the concept of power in organization. It defines power as
personal characteristics by which one person can influence or dominate another person. In organizations,
power is the ability of one person or department, to influence other people or departments, in order to
bring about the desired results. Without power, organizations will not be able to achieve their goals, because
managers exert influence to force people to do things that they want. Another element in organization is
politics.
Politics is about controlling resources (material, human, financial, information etc.). It is also about
distribution of resources. Who gets what, how, when and where (Harold Laswell 1936). Politics is often
understood as undesirable, because it is perceived as "maneuvering" and manipulation" by people.
Power is synonymously defined with authority. Authority comes with the job that one is holding,
and power and authority are perceived as one, although power subsumes authority. "Power and Politics
School" views authority as only one of the available sources of organizational power.
It may be mentioned that power is aimed at in all directions in the organizations, i.e. the top
managements power would be felt from top to bottom sideway as well. It can be understood as the
presence of an individual being felt.
Figure
Top
Middle
Bottom
There are various types of power that managers use in the organization.
These are:
Legitimate Power
Reward/Punish Power
Expert Power
Referent Power
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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
VU
Legitimate Power
It is the authority given by the organization to the formal management position a manager holds.
For example: Power of DCO, Nazim, and Policeperson. These personnel have power because they hold
certain position.
Reward / Punish Power
The power which stems from the ability to bestow rewards which include benefits like food
allowance, overtime cash allowance and other fringe benefits. Example: Adults can reward or punish
children; managers give cash awards to their sub-ordinates for good performance.
Expert Power
It is the power possessed by an individual based on experience, or some skills and ability. Example:
computer expert, specialist doctor
Referent Power
Organizations are always finding ways of using the effective and suitable way of utilizing the
experience and knowledge of reputable managers as far as employee referrals are concerned.
Conflict
Conflict is a natural outcome of the close interaction of people. It is defined as difference,
disagreement and dissension. When there is disagreement and dissension people will have a view point and
suggestion that is different. In order to have their views prevail people will try to find means by which give
and take will occur.
Therefore, individuals and groups will use power and political activity to handle their differences
and manage conflict.
Conflict- as Positive and Negative
Conflict can have positive or negative affect on the organization. The positive affect is when
manager agree to some new view points of the disagreeing group/individual.
Conflict can be a positive force because it challenges the status quo, encourages new ideas and
approaches, and leads to change.
However, too much conflict can be harmful to any organization. Because too much conflict can
lead to dead lock and things may not move. Some degree of conflict always occurs in all human
relationships.
Reactions of Managers
Most managers have a negative view toward politics and believe that politics will more often hurt
than help an organization in achieving its goals. Politics is also seen as a negative element. But some kind of
politics is always there in organization and if that is understood managers can use it in a positive way.
Political behaviour is common to practically all public or private organizations, and should be used
positively by involving people in decision making.
Most managers think political behaviour occurs more often at upper rather than lower levels in
organization. But political behaviour is common to people in organization, therefore, it occurs at all levels,
but it is more at the top.
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Introduction To Public Administration­MGT111
VU
Political behaviour arises in certain decision domain, such as structural change, but is absent from
other decisions, such as handling employee grievances.
Organizational decision-making and problem-solving, is also a political process. Organizational
actors seek to satisfy not only organizational interests, but also their own wants and needs; driven by self-
interest.
Three Dimensional Typology
For the purposes of understanding organizational political behaviour, Farrell and Peterson (1982)
proposed a three-dimensional typology. The dimensions are:
1. Where the political activity takes place -- inside or outside the organization
2. The direction of the attempted influence -- vertically or laterally in the organization
3. The legitimacy of the political action:
The purpose of three dimensional typology is to identify if the political activity is within the
organization or outside and where is the influence of politics and are the actions legitimate. This helps in
controlling and managing political behaviour in organization.
Concepts
Power:
ability to influence people using any type of power
Politics:
who gets what, how and when using the power that one
possesses.
Organizational behaviours:
the interaction and behaviour of employees in the organization
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Table of Contents:
  1. INTRODUCTION:Institutions of State, Individualism
  2. EVOLUTION OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:Classical School, The Shovelling Experiment
  3. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS I:Theory of Bureaucracy, Human Relation Approach
  4. CLASSICAL SCHOOL OF THOUGHTS II:Contributors of This Approach
  5. HUMAN RELATIONS SCHOOLS:Behavioural School, System Schools
  6. POWER AND POLITICS:Conflict- as Positive and Negative, Reactions of Managers, Three Dimensional Typology
  7. HISTORY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION I:Moghul Period, British Period
  8. HISTORY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION II
  9. CIVIL SERVICE:What are the Functions Performed by the Government?
  10. CIVIL SERVICE REFORMS:Implementation of the Reforms, Categories of the Civil Service
  11. 1973 CONSTITUTION OF PAKISTAN:The Republic of Pakistan, Definition of the State
  12. STRUCTURE OF GOVERNMENT:Rules of Business, Conclusion
  13. PUBLIC AND PRIVATE ADMINISTRATION:The Public Interest, Ambiguity, Less Efficient
  14. ORGANIZATION:Formal Organizations, Departmentalization
  15. DEPARTMENTALIZATION:Departmentalization by Enterprise Function, Departments by Product
  16. POWER AND AUTHORITY:Nature of Relationship, Delegation of Functional Authority
  17. DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY:The Art of Delegation, Coordination
  18. PLANNING I:Four Major Aspects of Planning, Types of Plans
  19. PLANNING II:Planning ProcessThree principles of plans
  20. PLANNING COMMISSION AND PLANNING DEVELOPMENT:Functions, Approval Authority
  21. DECISION MAKING:Theories on Decision Making, Steps in Rational Decision Making
  22. HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (HRM):Importance of Human Resource, Recruitment
  23. SELECTION PROCESS AND TRAINING:Levels at Which Selection takes Place, Training and Development
  24. PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL:Formal Appraisals, Informal Appraisals
  25. SELECTION AND TRAINING AND PUBLIC ORGANIZATIONS:Performance Evaluation,
  26. PUBLIC FINANCE:Background, Components of Public Finance, Dissimilarities
  27. BUDGET:Components of Public Income, Use of Taxes, Types of Taxation
  28. PUBLIC BUDGET:Incremental Budget, Annual Budget Statement, Budget Preparation
  29. NATIONAL FINANCE COMMISSION:Fiscal Federalism Defined, Multiple Criteria
  30. ADMINISTRATIVE CONTROL:Types of Accountability, Internal Control, External Control
  31. AUDIT:Economy, Effectiveness, Objectives of Performance Audit, Concepts
  32. MOTIVATION:Assumptions about Motivation, Early ViewsThree Needs
  33. MOTIVATION AND LEADERSHIP:Reinforcement Theory, Leadership, The Trait Approach
  34. LEADERSHIP:Contingency Approaches, Personal Characteristics of Employees
  35. TEAM I:Formal & Informal teams, Functions of Informal Groups, Characteristics of Teams
  36. TEAM II:Team Cohesiveness, Four ways to Cohesiveness, Communication
  37. COMMUNICATION I:Types of Communication, How to Improve Communication
  38. COMMUNICATION II:Factors in Organizational Communication, Negotiating To Manage Conflicts
  39. DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION:The British Period, After Independence, The Issues
  40. DEVOLUTION PLAN I:Country Information, Tiers or Level of Government
  41. DEVOLUTION PLAN II:Aim of Devolution Plan, Administrative Reforms, Separation of powers
  42. POLITICAL REFORMS:District, Tehsil, Functions of Union Council, Fiscal Reforms
  43. NEW PUBLIC MANAGEMENT (NPM):Strategy, Beginning of Management Approach
  44. MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA I
  45. MANAGERIAL PROGRAMME AGENDA II:Theoretical Bases of Management, Critique on Management