Organization Power and Politics that causes conflict.

Essay by hongmeiCollege, Undergraduate November 2003

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Organizational power is the ability of one actor or stakeholder to over come resistance by other actors and achieve a desired objective or result. According to most researchers, organizational power is the mechanism through which conflict gets resolved, and it can be defined a sthe ability of one person or group to overcome resistance by others to achieve a desired objective or result.

THe main sources of power available to managers and subunits are authority, control over resources and information, nonsubstitutability, control over uncertainty, unobstrusive power and centrality.

Authority is the power which is legitimized by the legal and cultural foundations on which an organization is based. In exercising authority, a manager exercises a legal right to control resources, including human resources. Authority is delegated to those lower in the hierarchy who are held responsible for the way they use organizational resources in a decentralized organizations. However, in centralized organizations, there's generally less scope for people to engage in behaviors aimed at gaining power.

Organizations need resources such as capital, human skills, raw material and customers to survive. If a resource is particularly important for an organization, the subunit that has control over that resource has a good deal of power. For example, the R&D skills and knowledge of Merck is necessary to produce new drugs are a critical resource. The senior scientists then is the one with the most power at Merck because they posses the knowledge on which the success of the organization depends.

Control of strategic information flow to, from, and between subunits are sources of considerable power in the decision making process. The control of information is the source of power of many people or subunits in specialized roles. Similarly, functions may have power because they control the information and knowledge that are necesary...