How Is Power Used To Manipulate People And Achieve

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Master's February 2008

download word file, 8 pages 0.0

Downloaded 57 times

How is Power used to Manipulate People and Achieve Personal Goals in Organisations? I have chosen to discuss power with politics as they are virtually integrated in everyday organisations, which can be of all sizes. They are both experienced by all members of the organisation and I believe are necessary for the organisation to survive.

Power is experienced everyday, either through people exerting power on others, or people having power exerted over them. The definition of power given by Robert Dahl in 1957 was that, ?Power refers to a force at the disposal of one person that can influence the behaviour of another. Therefore X has the capacity to influence the behaviour of Y in such a way that Y performs a task that he or she would otherwise not do.? Someone, from a business background, once said to me that the meaning of power in organisations was politics.

He said power was politics and that it wasn?t what you know but who you know, and this would be the basis for someone to achieve their goal. I tend to agree with this partially, it is a well known fact that one has to have contacts to progress up the hierarchy i.e. to be friendly with the boss, play golf with him on a Sunday afternoon. However, I disagree that politics is power. I proceeded to give this person a sketchy definition of politics as given by Jeffrey Pfeffer in 1981, ?Politics or political behaviour in an organisational context as activities undertaken by individuals or groups to obtain, enlarge, and use power and other resources to obtain outcomes they desire in situations where there is uncertainty or disagreement.? To this, he put that power was 70% politics. I suppose there is an element of truth in this. Someone does...