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Influencing as a Political Process

Diposting oleh belajarpsikologi on 21 November 2010
Most people do not work alone. They are members of complex organizations. Many people working in organizations are less influential than they might be because they do not fully understand the nature of organizational life. One widely held assumption people make is that organizations are well-integrated entities within which everybody works harmoniously together in order to achieve a set of shared goals. It is assumed that decisions are made logically and rationally, and that people select the alternatives that maximize the achievement of these shared goals.
Little attention seems to be given to self-interest and to the competing personal goals of organizational members. An alternative view of organizations is that they are political organisms within which individuals and groups attempt to influence each other in the pursuit of self-interest. Decisions and actions result from bargaining and negotiation between people who have different goals. Often they represent a compromise, they are the result of explicit or implicit working agreements that interested parties are prepared to live with, at least temporarily. 

When preferences conflict, it is the power and influence of the individuals and groups involved that determines the outcome of the decision process, not logic and rational argument. The acquisition and exercise of power and influence can be viewed as a political process. Some people are too political, in the sense that they pursue their self-interest without paying any attention to the rights of others or to the survival and growth of the organization. Their aim is that they should win. Others are too passive and accepting, and fail to contribute as
effectively as they might to the organization’s survival and growth. These non-assertive people may react to events, but rarely, if ever, engage in proactive behaviour to bring about the kind of changes that they think are desirable. However, there isa middle ground. 
There are people who acquire power and exercise influence in order to bring about what they perceive to be a more desirable state of affairs, and they use their power and exercise influence in ways that do not unnecessarily deny others their rights.


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