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Organizational Politics

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Clement, RW (1994) Culture, leadership, and power: the keys to organizational change. Business Horizons. Retrieved May 16, 2010, from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1038/is_n1_v37/ai_14922916/

Read the article and then write a short paper describing how the exercise of leadership depends on understanding the politics of the organization. To help guide your thinking, however, you will need to consider issues such as:

Sum up the key lessons of the Clement article.

To what degree does Clement's analysis distinguish among the three companies? Are there areas where you see his advice as the same across situations?

Are there any differences in the time frames or other context features of the situations described that might affect your conclusions about the relationship of politics to leadership?

Summarize your overall thoughts on the management of power in social relationships, the balance of personal vs. organizational responsibility for doing this management, and the relationship of this management (that is, politics) to leadership (please note -- there's no "one right answer" here, but when you've stated your conclusions, remember that you need to back up your argument with facts).

What, if anything, does thinking about an "organization as a political system" add to what we have learned by thinking about an "organization as an organism", an "organization as a brain", and an "organization as a culture"?

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Solution Preview

The topic of change management is quite intriguing and is not as simple as managers changing the rules and expecting employees to comply. This is indicated in the article, which references culture and politics as an impeder and promoter of change.

Generally speaking, politics is at the root of every business decision particularly those that are made in community service or federal agencies. Consideration must be given to what the community, politicians and tax payers in general will think when these types of organizations make changes.

As it relates to Clement's article on culture, leadership and power, all of these elements are key in managing and implementing change.

Key Lessons

Culture and Change

The culture of an organization can define how change will occur. Employees who work in a non-competitive environment may resist change. While, those who are accustomed to change may be more compliant.

Many people who have worked for an organization, at length, may feel a sense of entitlement. Hence, coping with changes that transform the scope of an individual's area of responsibility may prove difficult. In the article, Clement's references basic assumptions as the belief that there is a "correct" way to do things. The example of the engineering department is indicative of what many managers must contend with when trying ...

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