Free Definition Of Organisational Politics Essay Sample

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Decision, Decision Making, Community, Politics, Organization, Organisation, People, Competition

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2020/09/22

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Exam Questions

Question 1: Organisational politics in organisations .Definition of what organisation politics are. Does it exists or not? If yes or no, why?


When working in the corporate environment, the need to prove oneself better than the others, in order to gain certain favours, arises. This behaviour can be both constructive and destructive, depending upon the people involved. Everyone in the corporate world works to gain some objectives; these objectives can be monetary or abstract such as social position or status. If people in an organisation restore to self-serving style in order to gain their objectives, whether collectively or individually, they become inattentive, at best, and sometimes even destructive towards the needs and objectives of others. This sort of behaviour gives rise to political environment in the organisation (CROPANZANO et al., 1997).

Many definitions of organisational politics have been put forward. Some of the most relevant ones are given below.
Dubrin, (2001, p.192) defined organizational politics “as Ainformal approaches to gaining power through means other than merit or luck.”
CROPANZANO et al., (1997) define organizational politics in the following words: “the term politics is limited to behavior that is strategically designed to maximize short-term or long-term self-interest.”
Robbins, (2010) define organisational politics as “the use of power to affect the decision making of an organisation or on behaviours by members that are self-serving and organisationally non-sanctioned.”
Salin (2003) includes bullying in a form of organisational politics. The study concludes that bullying thrive in those workplace environments that can be termed as competitive or hectic. In such environments, employees tend to try to disrupt the work of their colleagues in order to undermine their performance so they can get the unwanted colleagues and gain undue favours or improve in position themselves. So this attitude is also, in its core, a self-serving attitude.

Does Organisational Politics Exist?

While competition between colleagues in an organisation is constructive at many levels, it also gives rise to destructive politics. In the presence of fair and constructive competition, there will always be those who can’t win in the fair competition and will resort to unfair means. In such a setting, organisational politics is bound to appear. It would be unrealistic to assume that people will not use whatever means they safely can, in order to undermine the performance of their colleagues to gain themselves unfair advantages over the others. Organisational politics is bound to exist at least at some level in the organisation with competitive structure.
Some examples of organisational politics include backstabbing, favouritism, removing rivals from the organisation through unfair means, set someone up to blame the failure on, put someone under undue pressure, playing turf wars, etc.

The main reasons behind organisational politics are as follows:

Some people resort to using unfair means to project a good image of themselves in front of their superiors because they don’t have the required skills and confidence to do it ethically.
The pyramid structure of organisation results in accumulating most of the power at the top, leaving only so much power available to others. People take help of politics to gain as much power as they can.
Some people indulge in politics because they don’t think that their abilities and talents are being judged well and less talented and hardworking people seem to get more appreciation than they do. They feel compelled to use politics as a means of getting their name recognised.
Thus, organisational politics exist in competitive environments due to a number of factors. It is upon the leaders of the organisation to take necessary steps to ensure that organisation politics remains less frequent and less intense. They should display their distaste of politics and show by their behaviour that they do not approve of it. If the leaders don’t encourage or tolerate organisational politics, the other members of the organisation at lower levels will see no gain in doing politics, thus decreasing the frequency of the politics. This will, in turn, make the organisation a healthier and more productive place to work in.


CROPANZANO, R., HOWES, J., GRANDEY, A. and TOTH, P. (1997). The relationship of organizational politics and support to work behaviors, attitudes, and stress. J. Organiz. Behav., 18(2), pp.159-180.
Dubrin, A. (2001). Leadership: Research Findings, Practice and Skill. 3rd ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin.
Randall, M., Cropanzano, R., Bormann, C. and Birjulin, A. (1999). Organizational politics and organizational support as predictors of work attitudes, job performance, and organizational citizenship behavior. J. Organiz. Behav., 20(2), pp.159-174.
Robbins, S. (2010). Essentials of organizational behavior. 10th ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
Salin, D. (2003). Bullying and organisational politics in competitive and rapidly changing work environments. IJMDM, 4(1), p.35.
Question 2: Decision making in organisations in respect to group versus individual decision making. Advantages and disadvantages, discuss of approach decision making.
Decision making in an organisation has become a part of daily organisational life in today’s corporate world. To make informed and effective decisions, it is necessary to have various opinions involving the people related to that field. Decision making can be individual or group, depending upon organisational structure and the specific case regarding which the decision is being made. In general, group decision and individual decision making, both have their advantages and disadvantages (Fitzgerald, 2002).
Individual Decision Making
A decision made without the group’s advice or regardless of the group’s advice can be termed as an individual decision. Individuals, before making a decision, are likely to question and think before they take a decision. This sort of decision making is beneficial when it comes to analysis and forecasting (Shapira, 1997). There are many advantages and disadvantages of individual decision making. Some of them are discussed below:
Following are the advantages of individual decision making:
Individual decision making is relatively much faster than group decision making. This sort of decision making doesn’t involve gathering the group, assembling them and taking their council. Individual decision making is used in decisions on short notice.
Another advantage of individual decision making is that individuals have to own their decision and take responsibility for its consequences. An individual can be held accountable for their decision while in group, it is difficult to hold one person accountable for the consequences of the decision taken by the group.
It is cost effective in terms of time, energy and money.
Individual decisions tend to be more focused as compared to group decisions (Sims, 1994).
There are certain disadvantages to the individual decision making too. Some of the disadvantages are discussed as follows:
Individual decisions are less informed as compared to group decisions as lesser resources are available for the individual as compared to the group.
While making a decision, an individual has to trust his own experience, intuition and knowledge while this is not the case with group decisions.
An individual lacks perspective, generally, as compared to a group. A group might take interests of everyone into account while an individual is more likely to not cater to the interests of many people.
Group Decision MakingGroup Decision Making involves two or more people’s collaboration and communication in order to make an informed and rational decision. This form of decision making is more effective when it comes to strategy and planning (Kiesler and Sproull, 1992). There are many pros and cons of group decision making. Some are given as follows:
The advantages of group decision making are given below:
In group decisions, information sharing among the members of the group is a big advantage over individual decision making. Group decisions have the room for vast knowledge as each member has something to contribute to the group regarding the topic with their past experience and knowledge.
Another advantage of a group over individual decision making is synergy. It is the concept that whole is better than sum of its parts. By intensive discussions, partnership, questioning and effective communication, it is possible for a group to find concrete and more informed solutions.
Some of the disadvantages of group decision making are as follows:
The foremost disadvantage of a group decision is how hard it to hold accountable, the person who is responsible for the consequences of decision if the decision doesn’t prove to be beneficial.
Efficiency is another issue in group decisions making. The process is time consuming as it includes the integration of opinions of numerous people (Koller, 1999).
Approach of Decision Making
There are three approaches to decision making, in total:
Avoiding is the decision making strategy to make no choice at all. It might be because of lack of enough information, potential damaging consequences of making any choice, and lack of any pressing need to make a choice.
Problem Solving is used in the activities that need a problem to be solved. It can also be termed as a goal based decision in which a decision is taken to reach the desired goal.
Problem Seeking is the third approach. Many a times, problem solving brings into light the weakness in the problem itself. The problem might have been poorly defined or there might be a problem with its scope. In this case, problem is sought and fixed before it can be solved.
Fitzgerald, S. (2002). Decision making. Oxford, U.K.: Capstone Pub.
Kiesler, S. and Sproull, L. (1992). Group decision making and communication technology. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 52(1), pp.96-123.
Koller, G. (1999). Risk assessment and decision making in business and industry. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press.
Shapira, Z. (1997). Organizational decision making. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Sims, R. (1994). Ethics and organizational decision making. Westport, Conn.: Quorum Books.

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