Power and politics are two important parts of organizational behavior and effective management. Management and leadership skills are complex issues that demand the unique professional knowledge and expertise of a person. The problem of power and politics in a modern organization receives great attention in recent years influenced by changing cultural traditions and new management techniques. The distinction between power and politics provides a framework for developing leadership strategy given one’s place in a situation, with or without power. The series “Bones”, season 1 episode 2 “The Titan on the Tracks” vividly portrays power relations and the importance of personal differences.
The character of Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Kurland shows that power is a bargain; employees entrust leaders in exchange for service. Indeed, it is possible to define this notion as a process “entrusted to perform a service” (Mintzberg, 1985). When individuals meet expectations, their credibility and chances for promotion increase; when they do not, they risk their personal image and position. Politics means a certain direction and approach to exercise power and make decisions. In both cases, good leadership skills are needed to provide effective governance if a person is to ensure political leadership and decision-making. To the extent that leaders and managers tried in the past to distinguish between leadership and power, they merely make a distinction between two kinds of power: formal and informal authority. In organizations, politics has usually been associated with informal authority, denoting the ability to gain and deploy power that is, the power to influence and inspire a subordinate. Power and politics are saddled with expectations that constrain the exercise of leadership. The character of Assistant U.S. Attorney Kim Kurland allows us to say that equating leadership with informal power does little to help employees develop strategies of leadership, whether with or without power, to tackle the most important challenges. The dependency on power generated by distress has the special advantage of holding a social system together when other management tools fail to function properly (Daft, 2003).
Kim Kurland is a unique personality so in his life individual differences of a leader influence his leadership style and politics. Using charisma, leaders gain power in the first place because they take duty and solve problems with such aplomb. Managers rarely receive power and have a possibility to develop organizational politics, as these are the main characteristics of organizational leadership. In contrast to politics, power is connected with visibility. In this case, under visibility researchers imply innovation, critical skills, and making external relationships (Daft, 2003). So, power relations are achieved when behavior is made distinctive in certain kinds of ways. in its turn, leaders deal with the development and maintenance of the order. It makes sense to equate management with formal and informal authority in a world of technical problems in which expertise and well-designed procedures and norms suffice to meet the challenges we face. Politics and power can be expected to offer strategic direction, defense, course of action, conflict management, and normal maintenance. But when the organization or agency requires changes in employees’ values, attitudes, or behavior patterns, when responsibility, pain, and initiative must be distributed widely, our unrealistic expectations of authority serve as constraints on the exercise of leadership (Mintzberg, 1985).
In sum, the pattern of dependency itself evolved not to enable a given troop to achieve new adaptations but to enable the crowd to function routinely within the ecological zone to which its particular set of social behaviors had adapted already. Power and politics are interlinked as the main similarity between them are a strong impact on staff and employee relationships and a possibility to change the course of actions. Using politics and power as the main tools of influence, managers take responsibility for other employees’ problems and give them back ready-made solutions.
Daft, R. L. (2003). Organizational Theory and Design. 9th Edition. South-Western College Pub; 8 edition.
Mintzberg, H. (1985). The organization as political arena’, Journal of Management Studies, 22 (2), 133-154.