Chap 10 - Lee Bolman

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Reframing Organizations, 4th ed.
Chapter 10
The Manager as a Politician
The Manager as a Politician
 Skills of the Manager as a Politician
 Ethics and politics
Skills of the Manager as a Politician
 Agenda Setting (knowing what you want and
how you’ll try to get it)


Vision or objective
Strategy for achieving the vision
 Mapping the Political Terrain
 Determine the channels of informal
communication
 Identify principal agents of political influence
 Analyze possibilities for mobilizing internal and
external players
 Anticipate counterstrategies that others are likely
to employ
Drawing the political map
 Frame the central issue – the key choice that
people disagree about
 Identity the key players (those who are most
likely to influence the outcome)


Where does each player fall in terms of the
key issue?
How much power is each player likely to exert
 Example: Belgian bureaucracy
 Key issue: are automated records a good
thing?
Figure 10-1:
The Political Map as Seen by the “Techies” – Strong
Support and Weak Opposition for Change
High
TopManagement
Techies
Power
Middle
Managers
Front-line
Officials
Low
Pro-Change
Opposed to Change
Interests
Figure 10-2:
The Real Political Map: a Battle Ground With
Strong Players on Both Sides
High
Top Management
Techies
Power
Middle
Middle
Managers
Managers
Front-line
Officials
Low
Pro-Change
Opposed to Change
Interests
Skills of the Manager as a Politician (II)
 Networking and Building Coalitions




Identify relevant relationships
Assess who might resist
Develop relationships with potential opponents
Persuade first, use more forceful methods only
if necessary
Skills of the Manager as a Politician (III)
 Bargaining and Negotiation


Value Creating: look for joint gain, win-win
solutions
Value Claiming: try to maximize your own
gains
Value Creating: Getting to Yes (Fisher
and Ury)
 Separate people from problem: “ deal with
people as human beings, and the problem on
its merits”
 Focus on interests, not positions
 Invent options for mutual gain
 Insist on objective criteria: standards of
fairness for a good decision
Value Claiming: The Strategy of
Conflict (Schelling)
 Bargaining is a mixed-motive game
(incentives to complete and collaborate)]
 Process of interdependent decisions
 Controlling other’s uncertainty gives power
 Emphasize threats, not sanctions
 Threats are only effective if credible
 Calculate the optimal level of threat: too much
or too little can undermine your position
Morality and Politics
 Ethical criteria in bargaining and
organizational politics




Mutuality – are all parties operating under the
same understanding of the rules?
Generality – does a specific action follow a
principle of moral conduct applicable to all
comparable situations?
Openness – are we willing to make our decisions
public?
Caring – does this action show care for the
legitimate interests of others?
Conclusion
 Politics can be sordid and destructive, but can
also be the vehicle for achieving noble
purposes
 Managers need to develop the skills of
constructive politicians:




Fashion an agenda
Map political terrain
Networking and building coalitions
Negotiating

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