Leadership, Power, And Politics

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Leadership, Power, and Politics

Leadership, Power, and Politics


Leadership is the ability to influence a group toward the achievement of a vision or set of goals. Leaders understand that people need to find connotation in life through their work and that meaning is derived from creativity in the service of worthwhile purposes. Strong personal ethics, a positive belief in others, and a persuasive vision are other characteristics of successful corporate leadership.

Making organizations more innovative, responsive and accountable requires focusing on a number of leadership, power and politics issues. Conventionally, conflict has been regarded as abhorrent in organizations. Conflict is in fact multidimensional. While one aspect of conflict enhances decision and quality, another dimension attenuates consensus and affective acceptance.


The challenges faced by leaders in implementing complex and long-range consequential decisions demand that they be sophisticated with respect to issues of leadership, power and influence (Conlon & Ross 2007). The changes that are shaping the nature of work in today's complex organizations require that leaders develop the political will, expertise and personal skills to become more flexible, innovative and adaptive. Without political awareness and skill, organization may face the foreseeable prospect of becoming immersed in bureaucratic infighting, parochial politics and destructive power struggles, which greatly retard organizational initiative, innovation, morale and performance (Pondy 2007). The three types of conflicts which occur in organization which can affect the performance are task, relationship & process.

Task Related Conflicts

Task-related conflicts may also cause tension, antagonism, and unhappiness among group members and an unwillingness to work together in the future. Conlon & Ross (2007) suggested that a person's normal response to any form of disagreement and questioning is frustration and dissatisfaction, however advantageous the outcome of the confrontation (Conlon & Ross 2007).

In support of this, Jones (2006), in his study of performance evaluations, showed that critical evaluations caused negative affective reactions regardless of the outcome. On the positive side, Jones provided evidence that people in groups with high levels of consensus a propos task issues expressed more satisfaction and desire to stay in the group than members in groups with higher levels of dissension (Jones 2006). These studies suggest that conflicts that arise over task issues can be exasperating and lead to dissatisfaction with the interaction (Jones 2006).

Relationship Conflicts

An investigation into individuals' affective reactions and their individual performance reveals relationship conflict as a significant influence on group processes and outcomes (Jones 2006).Similarly, coworkers experiencing interpersonal tension should be less satisfied with the group, in which they are working, because interpersonal problems enhance negative reactions such as anxiety and fear, decreasing their satisfaction with the group experience.

Employees may also experience frustration, strain, and uneasiness when they dislike or are disliked by others in their group (Conlon & Ross 2007), with a typical response being psychological or physical withdrawal from the disturbing situation (Peterson 2003). Clearly, the negative reaction associated with relationship conflict arouses uncomfortable feelings and dejection among members, which inhibits their ability to enjoy each other and their work in the ...
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