Due to the dynamic nature of management strategies and management theories, new management strategies are being released as soon as their viability has been proved. Politics influence business operations from how decisions are made to how employees interact and behave themselves in workplaces. However, how management utilizes politics and power determines the overall impact in the workplace. Organizational politics attempt to control the goals, processes, and criteria used in the decision-making process. Organizational politics leads to the emergence of political behaviors such as spreading rumors, whistleblowing, information leakage and confinement of crucial information (Johnson, Whittington, Scholes, Angwin & Regner, 2014). Political power gives authority that can be used to pressure other groups of people. This paper will highlight examples of political activities at the top of organizations that affected strategy, and the bases of political influence that executives might draw on whenever disagreements arise amongst themselves. The paper will be based on the case scenario of the boardroom battles at Hewlett Packard.
Political activity results from many factors including lust for power, scarce resources, discretionary power, organizational culture, organizational changes, safeguarding oneself in case of downsizing and promotion of self-interest (Johnson et al., 2014). The top management of Hewlett Packard experienced internal ructions resulting from boardroom leaks that led to changes in management. A series of firing and hiring new CEOS affected the organizational strategy. Despite its board members being accomplished individuals, HP board members were full of animosities, distrust amongst themselves, suspicion and greed that negatively affected strategy. Apart from boardroom being dysfunctional, HP suffered from the loss of values, principles, and behaviors that demonstrated its commitment to its customers and shareholders. Leadership problem is the damning thing that the HP board has failed to address. Lack of values in the HP organization has led to the infighting and lack of unity that the board members require for them to make meaningful strategic decisions
Power bases are connected to a leader's attributes, skills, and structural power sources. Structural power sources result from the managers or leaders creation and control over resources, interpersonal connections with influential people, supporters and allies, reputation for being powerful, location in information and communication networks and the importance of being a leader of a reputable or the right organization (Johnson et al., 2014). Sources of power bases include legitimate power, coercive power, referent power, information power, expert and reward power. Depending on the organizational situation, executives can draw bases of political influence from one of the sources of power.
The once giant and proud HP currently needs rejuvenation and rebooting. The board was unable to appoint the right leaders who would align with the organization's culture and values. The dysfunctional and ridiculous board requires reforms and efforts directed to restoring the lost HP values and culture. HPs shareholders and customers must demand the lost HP way and lost glory.
Johnson, G., Whittington, R., Scholes, K., Angwin, D., Regner, P. (2014). Exploring Strategy Text and Cases (10th ed.). Harlow, UK,: Pearson
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