Case study 12.1: Leadership Perspective at Chobani Neck et al. Chapter 12

Case study 12.1: Leadership Perspective at Chobani Neck et al. Chapter 12

ntroduction

What makes a great leader? What directions from a position of influence increase the likelihood of successful attainment of goals? Looking closely at Chobani’s leadership, under Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya, clearly a set of specific attributes cannot define a great leader. Rather, successful leaders are defined by what makes them different from everyone else. Chobani’s story is that of a fairy tale. What started as an immigrant’s risky venture has become a market-consuming conglomerate worth billions of dollars. Opening his own wholesale feta cheese plant in 2002 after tasting the inferior local American cheese, Ulukaya developed his small local plant’s operations with a vision to deliver a product that was simply better than that currently available to consumers.

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Directions

Following a careful review of the assigned course materials for this unit, read Case Study 12.1: Leadership Perspective at Chobani in the Neck et al. textbook. The case is in Chapter 12. Then, draft a formal academic composition in which you respond to the questions posed at the end of the reading.

The responses should reflect higher-level cognitive processing (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation). Students should consider the demands made of decision-makers, as their choices can impact stakeholders within the organization and in the external marketplace. No minimum number of references exists for this assignment, but appropriate business (no Investopedia, Wikipedia, etc.) and scholarly sources must be utilized to support the analysis. Opinion is insufficient to demonstrate a graduate-level understanding of the course materials and

Chapter 13

Influence, Power, and Politics

 

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Case Study: Managerial Power at Nextera Energy, Inc.

Case Questions:

Why should managers employ more than legitimate power to influence workers?

What is the purpose of monitoring organizational politics?

Describe how NextEra Energy maintains professional organizational politics.

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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Power: Definition and Overview

Power is the capacity to influence the actions of others and is inextricably linked with leadership.

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.1 Discuss the concept of power and its relationship to leadership

 

The concept of power, the capacity to influence the actions of others, is inextricably linked with leadership. Leaders have power for different reasons. In organizations, some leaders may be perceived as powerful by their followers because of their ability to give raises or bonuses, assign important tasks, or hire and fire. The power of other types of leaders may lie in their professional or technical expertise, or they may have personal qualities that inspire admiration in their followers. Being aware of why you are being influenced by someone else helps you recognize your own power, decide whether you want to accept the way the power is being used, and build on your own leadership skills to learn how to be a positive influence in your organization.

 

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Basic Sources of Power

To understand the concept of power, we need to explore organizational power and personal power.

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.2 Identify the various sources of power

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Basic Sources of Power

Organizational Power:

Three main aspects of organizational power:

Legitimate power

Reward power

Coercive power

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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Organizations are political structures that operate in a system for distributing power and authority among individuals and teams. Depending on how it is used, power can lead to either positive or negative outcomes in an organization.

There are three main aspects of power within organizations:

Legitimate power–It is the leader’s officially sanctioned authority to ask others to do things. Reward power–It is use of incentives to influence the actions of others. For example, a manager may inspire employees by promising salary raises, bonuses, promotions, and so on. Coercive power–It is the means by which a person controls the behavior of others through punishments, threats, or sanctions.

 

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Basic Sources of Power

Personal Power:

Two main types of personal power:

Expert power

Referent power

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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Personal power comes from within the individual and is independent of the position he or she holds in an organization. Personality and specialist knowledge in a certain area can be useful tools of personal power and influence. There are two main types of personal power:

Expert power–It is the ability to influence the behavior of others through the possession of knowledge or expertise on which others depend. For example, a team working on a project will look to their leader for guidance if she or he is the one with the knowledge and experience necessary for the task to be done.

Referent power–It is the influence a leader gains over others when they desire to identify and be associated with her or him. For example, people will naturally gravitate towards a leader who comes across as fair, approachable, and adept at handling certain situations.

 

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Using Power: Tactics for Influencing Others

Rational appeals

Inspirational appeals

Upward appeals

Personal appeals

Consultation

 

 

 

 

Exchange

Coalition building

Ingratiation

Assertiveness

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.3 Describe tactics for influencing others

 

There are nine different tactics for influencing others:

Rational appeals: The use of logic, reason, and evidence to convince another person that cooperation in a task that is worthwhile.

Inspirational appeals: The use of emotions to rouse enthusiasm for the task by appealing to the values and ideals of others.

Upward appeals: The argument that the task has been requested by higher management, or a request to higher management to assist in gaining co-operation.

Personal appeals: A request to cooperate on the basis of friendship or as a personal favor.

Consultation: The offer of participation or consultation in the decision-making process.

Exchange: The promise of rewards to persuade another person to cooperate.

Coalition building: Reference to the support of others as a reason for someone to agree to a request.

Ingratiation: An effort to win favor and the good graces of others before making a request.

Assertiveness: The use of demands or threats to persuade someone to carry out a task.

 

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Consequences of Influence Tactics

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.4 Outline the results of the various influence tactics

We can explore the effectiveness of an influence tactic by looking at three different possible outcomes: commitment, compliance, and resistance. Commitment occurs when people are enthusiastic and fully in agreement with an action or decision and are motivated to put in extra effort to successfully reach a goal. This is the best reaction to an influence tactic. Compliance occurs when people are indifferent to a task and make only the minimal effort necessary to complete a goal. While this reaction is not ideal for tasks that require more commitment, compliance has its place, especially when it comes to simple requests. For example, a manager telling an employee to do a routine, monotonous task like scanning a stack of documents may not receive an enthusiastic response, but the task will ultimately get done. In this scenario; compliance may still be considered to be a successful outcome. Resistance takes place when people oppose the influencer’s request by refusing to do it or arguing against carrying out the task. This is the worst reaction to an influence tactic, and it also causes bad feelings and distrust.

 

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Organizational Politics

Organizational politics are behaviors not formally sanctioned by the organization and are focused on maximizing self-interest, often at the expense of the organization or other employees.

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.5 Identify the causes and possible consequences of organizational politics

 

In society, the word “politics” has, arguably, more negative than positive connotations. Many politicians have a reputation for being underhanded, power-hungry, and ruthless in their ambition to make it to the top. Many work in an environment subject to corruption and influence to which some fall prey. Yet, it is not only politicians who engage in self-serving behavior. Politics exists in most organizations where there is conflict and competition between employees in the scramble up the career ladder. We define organizational politics as behaviors that are not formally sanctioned by the organization and that are focused on maximizing our self-interest, often at the expense of the organization or other employees. Whether you choose to engage in it or avoid it, organizational politics is a reality in every workplace.

 

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Organizational Politics

Organizational Factors:

Influence of:

Cost cutting

Money

Promotions

Layoffs

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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People are more likely to engage in political behavior in organizations where resources such as monetary rewards or promotions are limited. In today’s uncertain economy, many companies have implemented austere measures and cut back on unnecessary expenditures, often by conducting layoffs. For example, U.S. multi-national technology company Cisco has laid off thousands of employees since 2012.13 These cost-cutting steps can fuel political behavior as employees compete for dwindling resources and rewards. “Zero-sum rewards,” programs that compensate only one or a few team members at the expense of the others, can have negative consequences for those who do not receive anything, creating bad feelings and driving unhealthy competition. Similarly, organizations going through periods of organizational change tend to have a more politically centered workforce. For example, rumors of layoffs may encourage some employees to use political tactics to ensure their jobs are secure.

 

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Organizational Politics

Individual Factors:

Even if your organization is highly political, the extent to which you engage in political behavior depends on your personality.

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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Even if your organization is highly political, the level to which you engage in political behavior depends on your personality. For example, you may be someone who has a strong desire for power and operates with a high internal locus of control (the belief that you can control outcomes). Or you could be a high self-monitor, someone who is more sensitive to social cues, can relate well to others, and inspires trust and confidence. Finally, you might have a Machiavellian personality and be willing to manipulate others and use power to advance your own self-interests.

 

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Organizational Politics

Possible Outcomes of Political Behavior:

Political skill is the ability to understand and influence others for the good of the organization.

If you are aiming for a promotion, you will need to network with the right people and take on high-profile projects in order to increase your visibility, which is others’ awareness of your presence in an organization.

 

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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The vast majority of research evidence suggests that organizational politics have negative effects, including increased strain and stress, higher organizational turnover, decreased job satisfaction and performance, lower morale, and reduced organizational commitment. From the scenario above, you may suspect this is always the case. However, politics can be used for positive means when people possess political skill, the ability to understand and influence others for the good of the organization. In other words, when people hold the interests of the organization above their own interests, provide high levels of feedback to employees, and maintain good working relationships to achieve results, then organizational politics can have positive results.

 

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Four Different Types of Organizational Politics

The weeds

The rocks

The high ground

The woods

Neck, Organizational Behavior, 2e. © SAGE Publishing, 2020.

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LO 13.6 Discuss the four different types of organizational politics

 

Two dimensions operate across these four types. The first dimension involves just one person who engages in political activity, which expands to group-level politics as others get involved, before evolving into organizational politics. The second dimension is the degree to which the power is used; it can either be “soft” power, where people make informal use of their own influence or relationships; or “hard” power where people use their own authority and expertise to engage in political activity. Being aware of these two dimensions can help us to understand the types of politics around us.

 

The weeds describes a place where people engage in politics using personal influence and informal networks. For example, a not-for-profit organization relies on donors to keep the business afloat. The secretary general starts behaving unethically and underperforming. There is a concern among the staff that his behavior will put off current and future donors. A group of employees gets together to discuss the problem informally.

Over time, the problem gets worse, but the group’s influence grows stronger, and within a year, the secretary general is removed from his role in order to protect the company’s reputation. This shows that informal groups have the political power to be a force for good. To counteract the negative aspect of groups operating in “the weeds,” managers need to understand the nature of the politics, identify the key players, and communicate with them to find the source of their discontent.

 

When in “the rocks,” people in authority use hard power to enforce decisions. Often these people operate in high-status groups such as finance committees or senior management teams.

 

The high ground describes a type of organizational politics where the rules, structures, and policy guidelines are set formally in place. While rules and regulations are necessary for a well-functioning organization, too much formal authority can lead to overly bureaucratic structures which impede innovation and change.

 

Organizations can get lost in “the woods” by focusing on the issues rather than the hidden, unseen, underlying norms that could well be the key source of the problem.

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