Q2a. Effective managers accept the political nature of organizations. Examine individual and organizational factors that influence...

Q2a. Effective managers accept the political nature of organizations. Examine individual and organizational factors that influence political behaviours at work.

Q2b. Evaluate behavioural responses of organizational politics and the likely organizational outcomes that result from such responses.

(NB: An Expert with a solid background in OB is encouraged to answer this question ensuring that a detailed and well researched answer is given)

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Answer #1

Q.2a The political behaviour of individuals in the organisation is influence by variety of factors. These factors can be broadly categorised into individual and organisational factors.

Individual Factors: There are individual factors where individuals play politics to satisfy their personal needs. These personal or individuals needs are like to gain power for control and to influence decision-making process of the organisation. The aim of such individuals is to increase the area of their influence. They try to sustain power as it helps to obtain personal needs and fulfill desires. In organistions, individuals play politics as they have great desire and high need of gaining power. Such types of individuals are basically internals and self monitored people. There are many individuals who play politics because of their expectation of quick success in life at any cost.

Organisational Factors: There are some of the organisational factors that influence the individuals to play politics in the organisations. These factors are as follows:-

1. Limited Resources in the organisation: - When there are limited resources in the organisation then every individual in the organisation wants to have optimum resources. It results in making individuals getting engaged themselves in politics to get the maximum advantage of the distribution of resources.

2. Interpretation of limited resources: - The interpretation of limited resources like position, power, promotion etc in the organisation makes individuals engage in the politics. The individual who craves for such resources feels that they may be deprived of such resources in the process of distribution of resources and so they play politics in the organisation.

3. Uncertainty in decision-making: - There are some individuals who take advantage of the situation where there is uncertainty and ambiguity in decision-making because of unclear rules and policies.

4. Performance evaluation: - The individuals tend to play politics in the organization when performance evaluation and its outcome are subjective, qualitative and unclear.

5. High Performance pressure: - The individuals play politics when they are enforced with high performance pressure. The politics playing in the organization becomes measure to pressurize authority to withdraw control and lower the performance target.

6. Decision-making culture: - Democratic and participative decision-making culture of the organisation is also liable to organisational politics as every individual wants to enhance his/ her importance and thereafter give opinion on crucial and important matters.

7. Affecting lower level persons: - The lower level persons get affected when they experience persons at higher level playing politics.


In the negative light, saying that someone is “political” generally stirs up images of back-room dealing, manipulation, or hidden agendas for personal gain. A person engaging in these types of political behaviors is said to be engaging in self-serving behavior that is not sanctioned by the organization (Ferris et al., 1996; Valle & Perrewe, 2000; Harris, James, & Boonthanom, 2005; Randall et al., 1999).

Examples of these self-serving behaviors include bypassing the chain of command to get approval for a special project, going through improper channels to obtain special favors, or lobbying high-level managers just before they make a promotion decision. These types of actions undermine fairness in the organization, because not everyone engages in politicking to meet their own objectives. Those who follow proper procedures often feel jealous and resentful because they perceive unfair distributions of the organization’s resources, including rewards and recognition (Parker, Dipboye, & Jackson, 1995).

Researchers have found that if employees think their organization is overly driven by politics, the employees are less committed to the organization (Maslyn & Fedor, 1998; Nye & Wit, 1993), have lower job satisfaction (Ferris et al., 1996; Hochwarter et al., Kacmar et al., 1999), perform worse on the job (Anderson, 1994), have higher levels of job anxiety (Ferris et al., 1996; Kacmar & Ferris, 1989), and have a higher incidence of depressed mood (Byrne et al., 2005).

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