Politics and Power

Power and politics


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Power and politics


What roles do power and politics play in an organization Well, these two phenomenons are essential in the leadership of any organization. This is because if employed efficiently, they help the organization achieve its goals. Power is the ability to make things done in a preferred way while politics is the managerial influence based on self-interest.

Comparison of power and politics in organizations

According to Lentner (2004), power and politics are top elements involved in leadership of any organization that cause either the downfall or success of the company. This is because they have a significant impact on the activities of the company. Thus, managers can either abuse their offices or use their position wisely. It is a fact that a better understanding of power and politics within an organization improves a company??™s leadership practices and ethics. Most importantly, in any organization power and politics involves finance, individuals, time, resources, and influence. These elements define the degree of power and politics in an organization. Thus, most managers work towards acquiring this to help them gain total control of the organization decision-making process. Power involve social accountability, conduct, organizational customs, and authorized administration teams. Politics involve an individual arrangement surrounded by customary and non-customary self-indulged administrative positions and employing individual principles and customs into business affairs. As evident, these two elements constitute similar rudiments; thus, their structure is almost the same. For instance, both constitute customs, demeanor, and principles. Most importantly, the two concepts involve the exercising of power within an organization.

Contrast of power and politics in organizations

Daft (2009) divulges that power and politics in an organization contrast in various ways. It is noteworthy that power in an organization is a means of attaining the organizational goals. On the other hand, politics is a means of achieving individual goals within the organization. Thus, they have divergent applications within the organization structure. In many organizations, power gains upward influence while politics gains downwards influence. This is because power comes with certified organizational principles. Thus, the manager acts in accordance to the authority imposed on his position by the organization. Politics involve unethical practices aimed at sourcing for support among staff, which do not constitute organizational principles and conduct code. In most occasions, individuals practicing politics in of organizations often abuse their office in a bid to influence staff.

Dimension of power and influence used on managerial peers and outside vendors

A manager of Papa John??™s can use the dimension proposed by Bachrach and Baratz. It states that power is an open system of governance where everyone makes his opinion heard using the available resources. It is noteworthy that a manager of this store is on the same level with his peers. The only difference is the amount of resources that each manage, which depends on the store they supervise. Thus, there might be larger stores and small ones. It is a fact that they are all managers; thus, they exercise powers on the same level. Most importantly, a manager of Papa John??™s store will try to influence his peers and outside vendors through a consultative approach. This means he recognizes the powers that his peers posses. Bachrach and Baratz according to Lentner (2004), insist that this dimension of power and influence addresses the social status of individuals. This is because it perceives those practicing power in an organization to be of the same social class; thus, they must respect each other when executing their powers (Lentner, 2004).

Dimensions of power and influence used on subordinates

? A manager of Papa John??™s can employ the one proposed by Robert Dahl, which is the pluralist approach. It defines power as a state where one individual has power over the other; thus, he can make him perform a task in accordance to his instructions and influence. It is noteworthy that a manager of this store will execute his powers to the subordinates in a way that ensures they work efficiently. Dahl divulges that this dimension of power suits organizations that indulge in many activities. Papa John deals with preparation and delivery of pizza to clients. Thus, it undertakes many activities that support this business. These include the preparation of pizzas, delivery, advertisement, management of company website and public relations. Thus, the manager needs to employ Dahl??™s dimension of power for employees to perform these duties efficiently. The manager gives instructions and observes the reaction of the subordinates. In most occasions, he expects implementation of his instructions and decisions to the later (Daft, 2009).

Dimensions of power and influence used on the founder and CEO, John Schnatter

A manager can use the monopolistic system proposed by Bachrach and Baratz. It states that power in an organization constitute unequal systems created and maintained by a dominant figure. Thus, the leader favors decisions and actions that will be of benefit to him. This means that when a subordinate exercises his powers he must recognize that of his superior. In Papa John??™s store, the managers may propose ideas according to their leadership roles. However, they may not practice these powers without consulting the CEO. He will give the final verdict concerning all decisions implemented in the company. It is evident that, in this case, he will be practicing a monopolistic dimension of power. Furthermore, a manager will try to influence the CEO to support his decision. Managers of multinational organizations can also practice this dimension of leadership. Whereby, there is a dominant figure that approves or rejects crucial company decisions they propose (Lentner, 2004). Most importantly, when a manager of this store is exercising his power on the CEO, he will put in mind the monopolistic powers the CEO has over him.

Papa Johns coalitions

Papa John??™s store collaborates with various organizations; for instance, it has formed a national partnership with Junior Achievement. Since the initiation of this collaboration, the store has contributed close to $450,000. The partnership offers work readiness, entrepreneurship and pecuniary literacy to students in the United States. Furthermore, the store has collaborated with the boy scouts of America with their mission of nurturing personality advancement, nationality and ethical, psychological, and physical well-being of the youth. It is evident that the store also collaborates with the local community in its headquarters, in Louisville. For instance, it has funded the expansion of the University of Louisville Stadium at a tune of $10 million. WHAS campaign for children gained a lot from this project. Most importantly, the store forms coalitions with community related programs and activities (Papa John, 2010).


Power and politics form a significant component of leadership in any organization. It is noteworthy that they determine the organizational decisions. This might involve consultation or monopolistic approaches in leadership. The main contributors to the interpretation of power and influence dimensions include Robert Dahl, Bachrach, and Baratz. This is because they have proposed many dimensions of these aspects that managers can employ in the daily running of organizations.


Daft, R. (2009). Organization Theory and Design. Ohio, OH: Cengage Learning.

Lentner, H. (2004). Power and politics in globalization: the indispensable State. New York,

NY: Routledge.

Papa John??™s. (2010). No one does quality like Papa John??™s. Retrieved on 23 February, 2010 from


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