Action Required: (Knowledge Application)
This activity is important because managers should understand the importance of power, influence and politics in organizations. Power and influence positively affect job performance and organizational commitment. Influence is an important tool to navigate organizational politics, if used appropriately.
The goal of this activity is to demonstrate your understanding of power, influence, and politics by reading a case and answering questions that follow.
Case Analysis (Organizational Politics at Google)
Google only wants civil behavior at work. Talk about work at work, talk about politics elsewhere. The multinational technology company announced to its over 100,000 employees in August 2019 that nonwork topics were causing disruption. Specifically, political arguments have taken a large role in the companys online forums.
This is an interesting turn of events, given that the company has long been an example of a relaxed and creative culture. In the prior months, the company was accused of suppressing conservative political views in searches. A leaked video after the 2016 presidential election showed the displeasure of the Google executives with the election results. Over the next months, the online internal platforms for employee discussion became increasingly argumentative and, in some cases, worse.
Organizational politics are, of course, not the same as government politics. But this situation at Google could easily lead to organizational political behavior. Any strong expression of opinions by executives exerts influence on employees. At Google, the video of executives expressing negative opinions about the election immediately takes advantage of their power to influence subordinates. Those who are not of the same political opinions as the executives are now excluded from a circle of those who do agree. This can easily lead to those people either receding from involvement and hiding their views or taking an aggressive stance that further causes work problems.
Excluding employees can often be unintended. But when you are pushed out of the important discussions and decisions, especially by superiors, you are then on the outs. This can lead to low performance and commitment, and even leaving the organization in more serious cases. Political behavior on the part of those who are in agreement with executives can then bond further, whether intentionally or not. Based on this, Googles direction with their new policies about topics allowed in internal communication are, therefore, not as shocking as they might appear.
10.3 Test your knowledge:(Questions)
1. Your boss asks you to attend a meeting to participate in a serious discussion of corporate policies that you disagree with. After the meeting, you are convinced and agree completely with the policies, showing you experienced what reaction to the meetings influence?
2. People who share opinions with executives may try to use that to enter into more social circles and meet powerful people who also agree, expressing what type of political skill?