Power ,politics and conflict


The words power, political relations and struggle are adequate to elicit controversial subjects into treatment. There is a stating that “ No scientific discipline is immune to the infection of political relations and corruptness of power ” ( Jacob Bronowski, n.d ) . Conflicts are the competitions or the internal competitions in an organisation.

Power and political relations are the two sides of the same coin and one can non be without the other. Power concerns the capacity of an person to exercise their power over others whereas political relations are the techniques used to act upon others unwittingly ( Rollinson,2008 ) . Since both political relations and power are concerned with forcibly taking power struggles are bound to develop.

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So what are so the deductions of power, political relations and struggles? There are four extremely important deductions given by Rollinson ; 2008, as follows: First power exists in all the organisations, so alternatively of seeking to eliminate power or seek finding solutions for it people should larn to accept it. Secondly power is non ever obvious. Because power is really alluring people tend to be attracted towards it and people at higher stations by and large directors tend to work their place in an organisation. Third, political tactics ever involve a hazard. He/she should be careful plenty that people do non come to cognize their vested involvements. Last conflicts in bulk of organisations are ineluctable. In most of the instances though struggles are self stimulating and can increase like parasitic growing.


It is a known fact that power exists everyplace. The history of organisation will be uncomplete without the reference of power. Power can be defined in many ways.The one thing we all know about power is that power is an property and can be defined in the undermentioned manner “ Power is the ability of a individual or group to act upon over others to hold their desires fulfilled without holding to compromise on them ” ( Tawney cited in Rollinson,2008 ) . Rollinson,2008: P stated that there are many deductions to power ie power can non be in isolation, and has to be between two people or a group. Power needs an ground to be. Power is wholly situational and benefits people who take the advantage of power at the right clip. Many feel they do non possess power but when they look closely power does be with them in one signifier or other. For a long clip writers have tried to utilize power and authorization in the same context but they were extremely mistaken. There exists a immense difference between power and authorization. Power is a separate entity in itself whereas authorization is a type of power. Authority can be used by people to exert power in some state of affairss but can be challenged if it exceeds its bounds. Power can ne’er be challenged. Authority is the most seeable signifiers of power in an organisation.


Power typically has two bases interpersonal base and a contextual base. In the interpersonal degree power can be exercised personally by one person over others. Interpersonal power can be categorised into five types wages power, coercive power, legitimate power, referent power and in conclusion adept power. The referent power and adept power autumn under the sub-topic of the personal beginnings whereas the first three autumn under the sub-topic of organizational power. Contextual power on the other manus is of seven types organizational civilization, cognition and information, external environment, resources, webs, organizational construction, and eventually determination devising ( Rollinson,2008 ; P ) . As mentioned above we all are under the feeling that power has two bases. But the truth differs as the difference between the two bases does non truly exist and is on a superficial degree ( rollinson,2008 ; P ) . In existent life both are every bit used and are strongly connected. Power can be a extremely misunderstood subject and will stay uncomplete without the inclusions of some of its misconceptions.


One of the major misconception of power is that power can merely be with people with a higher place in an organisation. It is a true to a certain extent but non needfully all the clip. Power can be and is misused by people in the downward degree chiefly directors and their subsidiaries. There are many cases in the interpersonal base of power where power is misused by them. For illustration adept power can sometimes do a director dependent on his/her subsidiaries whose cooperation is vital.The 2nd misconception is that power is a seeable property.Power is seeable but the unseeable power has more power and is more powerful ( Rolinson,2008 ) . See a instance survey where power is extremely misused due to place and determinations acquiring manipulated by that.


This article describes about the dark side of ownership and corruptness that comes along with the high place ( Osborne,1994:24 ) .In this article the writer focuses on power and how it can be misused by people harmonizing to their positional value. This is a instance about a regional electrical catching company that was running successfully for 20 five old ages and was founded by two concern spouses. The writer mentions how the companys scenario alterations when one of the concern spouse ‘s boy joins the company. The boy ideally spends the initial months preparation and detecting all the staff. He besides patiently listens to all his subsidiaries. But the minute he gets holds of the 50 per centum partnership with his male parent he decides to spread out his clasp over the company.This is proved by the fact that three out of five cardinal holder resign within 18 months of his reign. The company suffers a batch of loses and eventually is on the brink of bankruptcy. This article is a perfect illustration of abuse of legitimate power. This article proves that power can be extremely misused at any places. Power has been described as the available force or potency for accomplishing desired results.


“ Real political relations is the ownership and distribution of power ” . ( Benjamin Disraeli, n.d ) . Politics is the usage of power to act upon determinations in order to accomplish those results ( Pfeffer, 1981 cited in Rollinson,2008 ) . As mentioned earlier power and political relations are two sides of same coin poilitics like power can non be measured. Politicss is one of the unseeable properties of power.It exists in every organisation, most of the directors have a negative position towards political relations ( Daft,2007 ) . The common misconception is that similar power, political relations excessively are carried out by top-level officers of an organisation. Politicss is non ever an unfastened bash for jobs but, some struggles can besides be resolved with the aid of political relations. Politicss is the procedure of bargaining and negotiating that is used to get the better of struggles and differences of sentiment ( ) . In an organisation oraganizational political relations exist and can specify as political relations that are used to accomplish power and results as coveted ( ) . The most frequent inquiry is upwind poilitics is rational or political? We can diffrentaite between rational theoretical account of political relations and political theoretical account as follows:


Joseph and Pfeffer ( 1989:108-8,1981:31 ) explain that: Harmonizing to the positivist theoretical account the ends of an organisation are coherent. In a political theoretical account ends can acquire distorted as leading is given most importance over profitableness. In this theoretical account single involvements are more of import.Let us look at the tabular array below which explains the rational theoretical account and the political theoretical account in item.

The sober attack of the rational theoretical account led many to dispute it. Many illustrations led to the publicity of the political theoretical account. Now we know for certain political behavior exists in every organisation.

Political Class

So what are the factors taking to political behavior and why does it be in an organisation? ( Chanlat,1997 cited in Daft,2007 ) distinguished political behavior in three classs. Namely personal, decisional, structural features. While enrolling persons for a company occupations, the recruiters ever take into history the single qualities and his passion related to the usage of power and political behavior. Thus the choice procedure itself gives rise to political behavior. The Personal charcacteristics are of two types. One of import type of personal feature is Machiavellianism. This is the ability of people to prosecute in political behavior and do usage of power. Machiavelli was a 16th century Florentine philosopher. He developed a set of guidelines for swayers to procure and keep governmental power. He suggested that the most simplest method of obtaining power is by pull stringsing others. His followings chiefly liked to pull strings people, would state what others wanted to hear. They besides believed that it was incorrect to swear person wholly in an organisation. He believed in the fact of concealing the facts until compelled to uncover.

The 2nd feature of political behavior are decisional features. There are of two types structured and unstructured. Structured can be solved utilizing determination regulations. Unstructured more common can non be solved utilizing determination regulations. Political behavior is most likely to happen in the unstructured determinations. The unstructured determination does non follow any regulations and therefore all the regulations used by the troughs are self made. The directors make certain that they use every maneuver sagely by carefully debaring the opposition of others, winning peoples support etc. The 3rd feature is the structured features. In organisations we see that all the work assigned is different to everyone. This is where the term distinction comes into the image. This leads to the differences of ends between an organisation it besides leads to the difference of information obtained by each section. In this the people in the organisation may hold towards accomplishing the same end but differences can happen in their ways to near those ends. The combined consequence of all these factors leads to the developments of struggles within an organisation. Political behavior therefore is ineluctable in structured feature.


To do usage of political tactics to derive power can hold many ways, one political maneuver that can be used is to delegate loyal people at top places. This can be used so that the top degree executive does non lose his place. A top degree exexcutive should ever engage people who would believe his views.Political power can cut down person explicitly claims it. Political power is best to be unseeable.


The word struggle can arouse a general thought about its significance. Conflict can be everyplace, be it interpersonal relationships, in administrations be it in interpersonal relationships, in organisations between two states etc. Our major focal point here is to analyze struggles in organisation. So how do we specify struggle? “ Conflict is the behavior of an single or group that intentionally sets out to barricade or suppress another group ( or person ) from accomplishing its ends. “ ( Rollinson, 414 ) .Conflict and competition go manus in manus.To have competition with person is when both are working towards the same end and to hold struggles is when one intentionally blocks the other from accomplishing that end.


Like every other property struggle has its ain pros and cons. As mentioned earlier conflict exists everyplace, so struggle can non be avoided and has to be managed or resolved.


Peoples by and large try to avoid struggle as they see conflict as something unhealthy in an organisation. Conflict can take down morale and constrict communicating. Low morale leads to hapless public presentation and straight affects companies concern. Conflict can curtail the information flow between members of an organisation. ( Milcovich,2005 ) .


Conflict can turn out to be a blessing for many organisations if it is taken in the right mode. Conflict can develop managerial accomplishments and cognition. Good struggle helps people to turn and work out jobs more effectively.Good struggle can besides excite creativeness and job resolution. ( Bacal,2004 ) .


There are four major types frames of mention on conflict.They are labelled as unitarist, pluralist, extremist and interactionis. ( Fox,1996 ; 1973 ) .The unitarist the thought behind this frame of mention is that every organisation isnpeaceful and the happening of struggle can falsify the organisational ends. The pluralist frame of mention positions the organisation as a aggregation of groups and so the happening of struggle is considered to be normal. The interactionist frame of mention considers conflict to be public presentation supporter for an organisation. Finally the extremist frame of mention positions struggle to be inevitable result of capitalist economy. ( Fox,1996 ; 1973 ) .


Conflicts can hold inauspicious effects on an organisation. It can take to unhealthy working atmosphere in the organisation. The organisation may endure concern losingss due to its colleagues being on a work stoppage. We can see an illustration of Preston Mill workers work stoppage ( Literary Encyclopedia ; published 25 Jan 2008 )

It is a Lancashire cotton factory, where many people were provided employement. In the twelvemonth 1847 a immense fiscal crisis was observed.This crisis affected the wage of all the workers and there was a 10 % wage cut. The proprietors of the company promised Restoration of the wage after the status improved. As old ages went by there was no mark of the workers Restoration of wage. The workers decided to travel on a work stoppage and struggle occurred between the workers and proprietors in 1853. Mills were shut this resulted in the loss of occupations for about 20000 workers. This struggle went on for a twelvemonth was eventually managed after the workers decided to run into the workers demands. So in this instance the struggle was managed and could non be resolved.

Conflict: Solution OR END OF PATH

Conflicts can be managed or resolved. There are two types of solutions to conflicts one is when struggles can be resolved and 2nd when struggles can be managed. ( ) If we consider an illustration of University which itself is an organisation we see struggles between the pupils and staff members. We besides observe internal struggles between pupils and staff members among themselves. Let us see a scenario where the pupils are inquiring for extension in their assignment deadlines if the respective professor does non compel there will be a struggle between the pupils and the professor. A simple solution for this job is that the professor extends the due day of the month and the affair is resolved but in instance he/she does n’t so the struggle can non be managed. Now there are instances where struggles can non be resolved but can be managed. If we take up a large organisation internal struggles are bound to happen between the members of the organisation for any ground be it someones expertness or cognition, place and so on. In this instance conflicts can non be resolved as this is a internal affair and all do non cognize about it so in this instance conflicts need to be managed as all know they ought to work together as neither want to lose their occupations due to their struggles.



The conflict between work forces and adult females in an organisation have been bing for ages now. Even today when so many adult females are termed as working adult females they are still said to be working in a “ mans universe ” . There have been issues between the two sexes sing wage, their place etc. Although engineering and globalisation is on the rise there is no mark of alterations in behavior towards adult females in organisations. Recent surveies have shown that even though adult females are successful and turning in their several profession it can non still be compared to their male opposite numbers. ( Boyle and Barr,2001 ; Elston,1993 ; Evetts,1996 ; Gjerberg 2001 ; Greed,2000 ; Riska 2001 ; Williams 1999 ) .Besides the alterations in organisational construction, the internal working of an organisation has still remained traditional and reflects traditional hierarchy ( Kuhlman,2003 ) . We can detect the difference between the two sexes more clearly by the illustration of the glass ceiling consequence.


The term “ glass ceiling ” was foremost used to mention to the unseeable barriers that adult females came across in their calling patterned advance. ( Hymowitz and Shellhardt,1986 ) .


The adult females ever got less wage as compared to males.There existed a immense spread between the places, occupation rubrics in work forces and adult females. Inspite of holding more experience, expertness and accomplishments adult females were given inferior occupations. The United States nose count agency statistics showed that every adult females earns approximately 75.3 cents to 1 $ per male. Surveies revealed that clients preferred male clients instead than female ( Heckman,2009 ) . Further flooring surveies revealed that female clients excessively preferable male customers.This led to the organisations to be more stereotypic. The possibilities of females acquiring publicities were distant. Womans were merely restricted to a peculiar field of their organisation. Womens accomplishments were frequently viewed as fortune instead than giving them recognition for their expertness. ( Lyness and Thompson,1997 ) .To prove the theory of the glass ceiling consequence let us see a instance survey which shows the being of gender wage spread in developing states ( Jamali, Sidani and Kobeissi,2008 ) .


Womans have made important impact in organisations in footings of labour direction, educational making, expertness in their ain Fieldss etc. But we observe that the graph of adult females accomplishments are non levelled up against their employment conditions. Womans do non have carnival and equal wage. This theory proves that glass ceiling consequence still exists. The chief intent of this article is to analyze the difference in rewards between the two opposite numbers. The chief job country is that unjust intervention is given to females in organisations, they are given less rewards. Females besides do non have proper benefits.Females receive less publicities. It is frequently seen that when a male and female articulations a peculiar company they get equal wage but as the senior status increases the wage value decreases for females even though both have the same senior status.


To work out this ne’er stoping issue organisations should make consciousness about this issue.The first measure towards this to halt bias against female workers. Members of an organisation should be given developing to decide this issue. Strignent Torahs should be made against organisations investing in unjust intervention toward females.The consequence for this will be a just and a merely working atmosphere for working adult females.


To sum up the above explaination we can detect that the nucleus of an organisation is formed by the aid of organisational power, political relations and conflicts.These can assist the organisation in a manner or destruct it in another way.As we say you can run but you cant conceal the same can be said about organisational political relations, power and struggles that you can avoid it but can non disregard it, it exists in an organisation in one manner or another.


  • Andrzej Huczynski and David Buchanan ( 2001 ) Organizational Behaviour: An introductory text.
  • Derek Rollinson ( 2008 ) Organizational Behaviour and Analysis: An Integrated Approach.
  • Daft Richard L ( 2008 ) : Organization Theory and Design.
  • Wikipedia: Glass ceiling consequence ( 1987 ) .
  • The Literary Encyclopedia: Preston Mill workers Strike ( 1853-1848 ) .
  • D. Jamali, Y. Sidani, A. Kobeissi: The gender wage spread revisited: penetrations from a developing state context.

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