Relationship of Leadership to the Politics of an Organization

Definition

Leadership-This is the practice of controlling and directing the behavior of individuals towards the completion of some common goals and objectives. It involves influencing people in undertaking things to a given set and value on top of their standard and all this is done willingly. Politics-This is the process of recognizing and eventually integrating opposing interests inside the organization. This may be as the means of creating non autocratic or a democratic working environment. Organization-This is the social arrangement that pursues collective objectives and goals, hence controlling its own performance, and it has a boundary separating it from environment surrounding it.

Discussion

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Employees have the biggest influence on deciding what leadership style works for them, and sometimes they will mislead the leader to a very easy style hence the first thing to be undertaken is figuring out an exact style which works for and with them, hence democratic will not work well here and the preferred will be situational leadership and this will make the followers of a particular leader to decide for him. Though leaders should lead by example and move further to formulate and implement organizational policies.

Organizational structure cannot be expected to resolve political problems within an institution. Political ambitions are frequently driving force behind these structural changes. Wider political and social forces in societies a s a whole also limit the choice and operation of organizational structures. This is common in the case of state organizations in both socialist and capitalist economies and of public service departments as well. Here the form of structure is usually imposed as a political rather than purely managerial decision.

According to George’s leadership, political climate of a particular organization is affected by a leader through management and making use of alternative settings which is visible in decision making, interaction with others in mobilizing support and setting of agenda, also in inspiring individuals, teams and other people. The relationship between organizational politics and leadership can be comprehended from the fact that organizational leadership occurs in the perspective of groups, where followers are prejudiced by the leader to make sure their loyalty and voluntary participation towards predetermined outcomes. The interaction between leaders and their influence & authority over the followers lay down the tone for political climate in an organization. By clearly understanding of organizations’ political systems which is necessary for leadership to lead the company towards the goal achievement. Leaders who have worked for long in the company will possess the general knowledge of political climate prevailing in the organization. Leaders from outside should take time to learn and understand the organizational politics by focusing and observing keenly relationship of the various groups in the company.

 The literature on politics in organizations is both complex and confusing. Consistent with the connotation that politics is somehow bad and to be avoided, at least in rational organizations. Politics in organization arises where groups in an organization have there own preferred goals, and the means to attain those goals, sanctioned by rest of the organization, for instance the case must be of powerful groups. Pfeffer (1981) suggests that political behavior is best known as those activities taken within organizations to acquire, develop and use power and other resources to obtain ones preferred outcomes in a situation in which there is uncertainty or discensus about choices. In this respect organizational politics and social power are very much a like, only that they are distinguished primarily by the unit of analysis involved. When our focus is on individuals influencing other individuals, here we talk about social power and when our focus is on groups influencing other groups we are talking about organization politics, hence political behavior occurs in situation characterized by uncertainty.

Conflicting opinions and preferences are perhaps the single most important cause of political behavior. But such conflicts can exist only if there is some degree of uncertainty about what is objectively the best or must appropriate course of action. To try and solve this political behavior in organizations, power should be distributed equally among the groups affected by decision which give rise to this. It is also important to recognize that although conflicting preferences can exist only when there is some uncertainty about what is objectively the most correct or appropriate course of action, uncertainty simply provides an environment in which conflicting preferences can develop. The real causes of the conflicting opinions and preferences are differentiation and resource scarcity. Political leaders place there interest ahead of the interest of an organization, to them don’t visualizes the difference between operating within the law and operating ethically.

It is important to note that since differentiation is a natural consequence of organizational growth, and since both uncertainty and resource scarcity are the rule rather than the exception in organizations, it must be concluded that both conflicts and political activity are inevitable group level outputs that can be found in virtually any organization. Understanding is the key for leaders to make use of organizational politics and also to enhance their own leadership credibility.  The amount of conflict and political behavior that occurs in a given organization will depend upon the severity of the prerequisite conditions, that is the degree to which there exist task interdependence, parochial perspectives, resource scarcity and soon.

References

http://www.careerknowhow.com/guidance/micromanager.htm

http://www.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdf

http://www.leadersdirect.com/leaderstyle.html

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