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Political Behavior in Organizations

Political Behavior in Organizations

November 2008 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
Political Behavior in Organizations includes a summary of power and influence in organizations. The text blends research, theory, experience and skill building into a comprehensive yet concise book designed for understanding and application.

Key features include:

- captivating case histories for analysis, both from the media and original stories;

- political skill-building exercise for each chapter;

- self-assessment quizzes;

- introductory cases at the beginning of each chapter.

Part I The Nature and Context of Political Behavior in Organizations
Chapter 1 The Nature and Causes of Organizational Politics
The Meaning of Organizational Politics  
The Importance of Political Behavior for Career Advancement and Organizational Performance  
How Interpersonal Influence Behavior Facilitates the Pathway to the Boardroom  
Political Behavior and Organizational Performance  
Factors Contributing to Political Behavior in Organizations  
Organizational Factors  
Individual Factors  
A Framework of Effective Use of Organizational Politics  
Questions and Activities  
Case Problem: The Curious Behavior CEO of Steve Heuer  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 1: What Are Office Politics?  
Chapter 2 The Organizational Context and Ethics of Political Behavior
Dimensions of Organizational Culture Related to Organizational Politics  
Diagnosing the Organizational Culture and Climate for Political Behavior  
Sizing up the Situation Related to Political Behavior  
Preferences of the Work Unit Manager  
Work Group Influences on Political Behavior  
Dimensions of National Culture Values Influencing Organizational Politics  
Ethical Considerations in Organizational Politics  
The Intentions of the Political Actor  
A Test of Ethics Based on Moral Principles  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: Pay for Play at the North Carolina Treasurer’s Office  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 2: Creating an Organizational Story with an Underlying Meaning  
Part II Strategies and Tactics of Positive Organizational Politics
Chapter 3 Major Initiatives for Acquiring Power
The Sources and Types of Power  
Position Power  
Personal Power  
Performing a Power Analysis  
Strategies and Tactics for Acquiring Power  
Perform Well and Establish a Good Reputation  
Form Alliances with Powerful People  
Attract a Powerful Mentor  
Be Grandiose, Audacious, and Flamboyant  
Be Visibly Kind  
Be an Extraordinary Strategist  
Make a Quick Showing  
Turn Around a Failure or a Crisis  
Share Power and Ask for Assistance  
Make a Powerful Appearance  
The Abuse of Power with Organizations  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: Big Eddie Lambert Likes to Deal  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 3: Creating an Impression of Power  
Chapter 4 Upward Relations
Organizational Citizenship Behavior as Organizational Politics  
Impression Management  
Contextual Variables Influencing Impression Management  
Specific Tactics of Impression Management  
A Variety of Relationship Builders with Superiors  
Understand your Manager’s Style and Work Preferences  
Help Your Manager Succeed  
Engage in Favorable Interactions with Your Manager  
Be Loyal in a Variety of Ways  
Flatter Your Manager with Sincerity  
Strive for Ample and Open Communication  
Dealing with a Difficult Boss  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: The Image Doctor Will See You Now  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 4: Engaging in Effective Flattery  
Chapter 5 Lateral Relations
The Positive Consequences of Good lateral Relations  
Political Tactics for Coworker Relationships  
Engage in Interpersonal Citizenship Behavior  
Engage in Positive Coworker Exchanges  
Participate in Positive Gossip and Small Talk  
Supplement E-Mail with More Personal Contact  
Repair Damage Quickly  
Political Tactics for Enhancing Team Play  
Contribute to the Team Culture  
Demonstrate Confidence and Trust in Teammates  
Give Credit to Others  
Follow the Law of Reciprocity  
Participate in Healthy Competition  
Assist Teammates in Trouble  
Cooperate During Teamwork Training  
Individual Recognition and Positive Lateral Relations  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: Passed Over Pete  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 5: High-Quality Exchanges with Coworkers  
Chapter 6 Downward Relations
Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) and Downward Relations  
Different Quality Relationships  
First Impressions  
The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership and Downward Relations  
Humanistic Leadership Practices for Building Downward Relations  
Mix Humility and Self-Confidence  
Communicate Trust in Others and Minimize Micromanagement  
Engage in Face-to-Face Communication  
Assist in the Development of Subordinates  
Be Civil yet Maintain Professional Distance  
Give Emotional Support and Encouragement  
Begin a New Position with a Listening Tour  
Share Credit with the Team  
Avoid Being the Abominable No Man or Woman  
Politically Astute Leadership Practices for Building Downward Relations  
Use Authority Prudently  
Achieve Buy-In for Initiatives  
Encourage Democracy Including Power Sharing  
Use a Leadership Style Different from Your Predecessor  
Be Prudent in Dealing with Former Coworkers  
Encourage and Welcome Group Members of Superior Intelligence  
Solicit and Welcome Feedback  
Be a Servant Leader  
Questions and Activities  
Case Problem: Micro Mike  
Skill-Building Exercise 6: The Effective Leader  
Chapter 7 Influence Tactics
Interpersonal Level Influence Tactics  
Be Persuasive  
Exchange Favors and Benefits  
Ingratiate Yourself to Others  
Be an Alpha Executive  
Negotiate Sensibly  
Be Low Key  
Be Agreeable and Apologize when Necessary  
Group and Organizational-Level Influence Tactics  
Form Coalitions  
Engage in Cooptation with the Other Side  
Display Expertise  
Use Charisma  
Display Skill in a Foreign Language  
Be a Maverick or an Iconoclast  
Appeal to Superordinate Goals  
Be Cool Under Pressure  
Place Spin on Negative Events  
Relative Effectiveness and Sequencing of Influence Tactics  
Relative Effectiveness of Influence Tactics  
Sequencing of Influence Tactics  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: The Coal Man Speaks  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 7: Applying Influence Tactics  
Chapter 8 Social Networks within Organizations
Social Network Theory  
Social Capital and the Importance of Ties  
Strength of Ties among Network Members  
Social Network Analysis  
Internal and External Networks in Organizations  
Internal Networks  
External Networks  
Internet-Mediated Social Networking for Business  
How Leaders Use Internal and External Networks  
Social Networks and Group and Organizational Performance  
Group Performance and Social Networking  
Organizational Performance and Social Networking  
Social Networks and Career Advancement  
Suggestions for Building and Maintaining Social Networks  
Networking Suggestions Based on Scholarly Research  
Networking Suggestions Based on Experience and Intuition  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: Networking Ashley  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 8: Building Your Network  
Part III Negative Tactics, Blunders, and Overcoming Dysfunctional Politics
Chapter 9 Negative Political Tactics and Blunders
Negative Political Tactics  
Hostile Behavior toward Others  
Shrewd Tricks  
Political Blunders  
Political Blunders and Emotional Intelligence  
Career Retarding Blunders  
Blunders Leading to Embarrassment and Minor Setbacks  
Recovering from Blunders  
Damage Control after a Major Error the Job  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: The Wal-Mart Adventures of Julie Roehm  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 9: Blunder Recovery and Damage Control  
Chapter 10 The Control of Dysfunctional Politics
The Perception of Dysfunctional Politics in Organizations  
Organizational and Individual Factors Associated with Perceptions of Politics  
The Impact of Perception of Organizational Politics on Performance  
The Consequences of Dysfunctional Politics  
Managerial Control of Dysfunctional Politics  
Create a Prosperous Organization  
Set Good Examples at the Executive Level  
Establish a Climate of Open Communication  
Develop Congruence between Individual and Organizational Goals  
Minimize Favoritism and Have Objective Standards of Performance  
Reward Honest Feedback  
Emphasize Teams to Reduce Self-Serving Behavior  
Threaten to Discuss Questionable Information Publicly  
Hire People with Integrity and Honesty  
Protecting Yourself against Negative Politics  
Understand Political Forces within the Organization  
Develop a Clean Record and a Positive Reputation  
Extend an Olive Branch to Rivals  
Confront Backstabbers  
Questions and Activities  
Case Study: The Nightmare in the Logistics Department  
Political Skill-Building Exercise 10: Confronting the Backstabber in the Logistics Department  

"Right read in times of downsizing, to survive workplace politics."

D. Murali
The Hindu News Service

"Billed as 'the first true textbook' on the subject."


"Western's unique approach to examining leadership with practical examples and references from many disciplines makes the book a very interesting read."

Nella A. Roberts
Florida International University

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ISBN: 9781412954617