Organisational Politics-Machiavellianism and Effective Management

Hello Respected Researchers and HR managers, In this section we will discuss about “Organisational Politics-Machiavellianism and Effective Management “. It is very much important for a Researcher as well as HR Concern person/ manager to know the definition Organisational Politics-Machiavellianism and Effective Management. If researcher or HR Manager could follow the Points accordingly,it would easier to reach the goal. Let’s have a look…


() Organisational Politics:

Organisational politics are defined as the management of influence to obtain ends not sanctioned by the organisation, or to obtain sanctioned ends through the means of non-sanctioned influence. People are engaging in political behaviour once they convert their power into action.

What does political behaviour look like? It might emerge from people hoarding information with a view to controlling decision-making; it might also entail whistle-blowing, spreading rumours, leaking confidential information to sources with the potential to spread the information (media), exchanging favours with other employees.

() Machiavellianism:

⇒ The sour side of politics exists primarily because of the characteristics of members within the organisation who are high on the personality dimension known as Machiavellianism (discussed in more detail in Block Two). A series of instruments known as Mach scales can measure one’s orientation to this dimension.These people have the following characteristics:


  1. They act with self-interest, even at the expense of others;
  2. They are cool and calculating, especially when others get emotional;
  3. They have high self-esteem and self-confidence;
  4. They form alliances with powerful people to achieve their goals.


⇒ High Machs will not hesitate to lie or behave in other unethical ways in order to meet personal objectives. They will do this by ‘stepping over’ or defeating others who get in the way of these accomplishments. People who demonstrate high Mach characteristics find favourable tactics that allow them to politics under specific circumstances:

  1. They are able to have a face-to-face encounter with the person they are trying to influence
  2. Typically the circumstances are emotional
  3. The situation is unstructured, with few guidelines for interaction

⇒ Effective Management in a Political Environment:

⇒ Politicking is a fact of organisational life, and cannot be ignored. How might you become more politically adept in your organisation? Robbins and Hunsaker have offered the following suggestions:


(1.) Frame arguments in terms of organisational goals: Effective politicking requires camouflaging your self-interest. No matter that your objective is self-serving; all the arguments you marshal in support of it must be framed in terms of the benefits that will accrue to the organisation.

(2.) Develop the right image: If you know your organisation’s culture, you understand what the organisation wants and values from its employees – in terms of dress; associates to cultivate (and those to avoid); whether to appear risk-taking or risk-averse; the preferred leadership style; the importance placed on getting along well with others, and so forth. Then you are equipped to project the appropriate image. Because the assessment of your performance is not a fully objective process, both style and substance must be addressed.

(3.) Gain control of organisational resources: The control of organisational resources that are scarce and important is a source of power. Knowledge and expertise are particularly effective resources to control. They make you more valuable to the organisation and, therefore, more likely to gain security, advancement, and a receptive audience for your ideas.

(4.) Make yourself appear indispensable: Because we’re dealing with appearances rather than objective facts, you can enhance your power by appearing to be indispensable. That is, you don’t have to really be indispensable as long as key people in the organisation believe that you are. If the organisation’s prime decision makers believe there is no ready substitute for what you are giving the organisation, they are likely to go to great lengths to ensure that your desires are satisfied.

(5.) Be visible: Because performance evaluation has a substantial subjective component, it’s important that your manager and those in power in the organisation be made aware of your contribution. If you are fortunate enough to have a job that brings your accomplishments to the attention of others, it may not be necessary to take direct measures to increase your visibility. But your job may require you to handle activities that are low in visibility, or your specific contribution may be indistinguishable because you’re part of a team endeavourbility.

(6.) Develop powerful allies: It helps to have powerful people in your camp. Cultivate contacts with potentially influential people above you, at your own level, and in the lower ranks. They can provide you with important information that may not be available through normal channels. Additionally, there will be times when decisions will be made in favour of those with the greatest support. Having powerful allies can provide you with a coalition of support if and when you need it.

(7.) Avoid ‘tainted’ members: In almost every organisation, there are fringe members whose status is questionable. Their performance and/or loyalty is suspect. Keep your distance from such individuals. Given the reality that effectiveness has a large subjective component, your own effectiveness might be called into question if you’re perceived as being too closely associated with tainted members.

(8.) Support you manager: Your immediate future is in the hands of your current manager. Since he or she evaluates your performance, you will typically want to do whatever is necessary to have your manager on your side. You should make every effort to help your manager succeed, make her look good, support her if she is under siege, and spend the time to find out what criteria she will be using to assess your effectiveness. Don’t undermine your manager, and don’t speak negatively of her to others.


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