Organizational Politics is defined as the behavioral manifestation of power in the workplace. In the modern corporation, people are trying to get ahead and are often looking for shortcuts to the top. They may try to bypass the chain of command, solicit special favors, or lobby for raises. All of these are political actions.
Organizational Politics can have a positive or negative effect on your work. The best way to know how to deal with it is to understand it. For example, when employees are unsure about what they are doing or how their actions affect others, they can become cynical and unproductive. This can lead to low productivity on all levels of the company. It also leads to high employee turnover.
If you are an individual worker, this can result in endless hours of wasted time and a lack of motivation to do your job. You can become resentful of coworkers, managers, and even the organization itself. There may be no progress towards a goal or standard of excellence.
A company on top of its game can use customer feedback and end-user data to make the case that the current structure of the business is limiting. However, this is not the only way to combat ineffective politics. An organization must implement practices to create an environment that is conducive to effective politics.
Formal meetings are commonly held to discuss and resolve issues. These can be used to confirm a consensus decision or ensure that resources are properly allocated. Often, the agenda of the meeting is pre-determined.
Often, people become attached to their own roles. Territorialism can be a problem in organizations. As people grow comfortable in a role, they may begin to favor those reporting directly to them. This can lead to territorial conflicts or power struggles within the organization.
If there is a conflict between the interests of different groups, it can lead to political infighting. In these cases, individuals and groups may disagree about how to allocate resources. Because there is limited resources, it can be easy to see how power issues can arise.
If the organization is too risk-averse, it can be hard to innovate. This can lead to stagnant businesses and poor quality work. Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent this from happening.
The first step in creating an environment conducive to effective politics is to find the natural constituents. These are the highly-regarded people within an organization who are most likely to have the authority to influence the direction of the business.
Effective politics requires a balance between the desire to influence outcomes and the ability to maintain relationships with other members of the organization. To do this, you need to be able to convey your power to others. You must be willing to make a compelling case and to present yourself as a professional.
Lastly, organizational politics is often confidential. It is important to know how to handle these political dynamics in order to avoid becoming emotionally involved in the process.